Should the county give itself a $2.6-million advance to speed up road projects?
The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners will consider a recommendation this week by the Charlevoix County Personnel/Internal Government Committee to borrow funds from itself to help pay for some major road projects ahead of schedule.
As the proposal stands now, the county would borrow $2.6 million from its Delinquent Tax Fund and pay it back in annual installments of $325,000 from Charlevoix County Road Millage moneys.
At that rate, it would take 7.43 years to repay the loan.
“The delinquent tax fund is a fund that the treasurer uses to pay the state for all delinquent taxes that persons have not paid timely,” stated Charlevoix County Clerk Cherie Browe in an e-mailed response to questions on the matter. “We are one of the few counties in the state that pays our own taxes without having to borrow money to pay them each year.”
According to Browe, the county’s delinquent taxes range between $3 million and over $5 million annually.
“The treasurer never wants to go too low to ensure that we can pay our property taxes each year since she does not know from one year to the next how much they will be,” she stated. “Since this is an advance, the funds will be going back into the fund each each year from property tax collections until the advance is satisfied.”
The $2.6 million would be used to work on Ellsworth, Deer Lake and Korthase roads.
The Charlevoix County Road Millage was approved in 2008, and has been used to construct, maintain and repair various county roads.
The matter of the advance will be discussed at the 9:30 a.m., Wednesday Nov. 11, meeting of the county board.
This meeting is open to the public.
Commissioners convene in the meeting room next to the Charlevoix County Clerk’s office at 203 Antrim St. in Charlevoix.