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Marquette operating millage going up in July

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Marquette City Manager Karen Kovacs and Assistant City Manager Sean Hobbins

MARQUETTE, MI— Residents in the City of Marquette will see an increase in their property taxes, starting with their summer bill.

At a special meeting Tuesday night, the City Commission unanimously voted to increase the city’s operating millage 2.6379 mills to 17.5604 mills. It will take effect July 1. Homes with a taxable value of $80,000 would see a tax increase of just over $17 a month.

Commissioner Jessica Hanley said the Commission didn’t want to raise taxes, but difficult choices have to be made to get the city out of its $2 million budget deficit.

“None of us want to do this. But we also want to see a city keep going. And we want to make sure that Marquette is a place that has the financial standing to go on for years, that we’re not constantly worrying about whether we’re going to make the budget next year or something’s happening.”

The city’s deficit has already been reduced $4 million from $6 million a few years ago.

City Manager Karen Kovacs said Marquette would be in the red—have no General Fund reserves left—by 2025 if the millage increase didn’t go into effect.

Some residents at the meeting commented people would have difficulties paying the increase at a time when inflation is high. Commissioners urged those who might have trouble meeting their payments to contact the City so officials can work with them.

Commissioner Fred Stonehouse said budgets in each city department could be cut 10 percent, but asked which services residents would like to do without. Both Sally Davis and Jessica Hanley said they’d continue to look for possible cuts and efficiencies, but they have a responsibility to provide for the viability of the community.

More information is at www.marquettemi.gov/millage.

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.