KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — Kalamazoo County voters will make the decision on whether to approve a law enforcement-and-public safety millage in May's special election.
The millage has been in effect in Kalamazoo County for decades, renewing every six years since 1980.
Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting said it has bipartisan and community support.
"Without this funding, we would not be able to do our jobs," said Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting.
The law enforcement and public safety millage has been providing essential services to the Kalamazoo County community for 42 years.
"It provides nearly 50% of the funding here in the prosecutor’s office," said Getting. "Forty-eight percent of our employees are funded by the law enforcement millage. Thirty-seven percent of the sheriff’s office employees, 48% of the animal services employees are funded by the law enforcement-and-public safety millage here in Kalamazoo."
Kalamazoo County voters will make the decision whether to renew the law enforcement and public safety millage in Tuesday’s special election.🗳— Lauren Kummer (@LaurenKummerTV) April 27, 2022
It will raise $13.6 million in the first year and will go through 2028. @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/rZx98WHeBr
The funding is distributed throughout multiple county services, including Kalamazoo County Animal Services, the Office of Community Corrections, District Court, Circuit Court, the Prosecutor's Office and the Sheriff's Office.
Prosecuting Attorney Getting said it's crucial for the county to keep providing the services they do, especially as they're seeing a giant backlog from the pandemic in the court system.
"We have hundreds of felony cases that are pending. We have 80 life-offense cases pending, over nearly 40 death cases pending," said Getting.
If passed, the millage would raise $13.6 million in the first year and would continue through 2028.
"It is not raising taxes for voters. It is continuing what they are currently paying, actually a little bit less because of rollbacks over the years. It is 1.44 mills or 1.43 mills per household in the community," said Getting.
Kalamazoo County voters will see the millage renewal on their May 3 special election ballot.