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Oakland County residents will vote on transportation millage this November

hand holding a pen and filling out a ballot
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Oakland County voters will be able to decide this November whether or not they want a transportation millage in their county.

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners voted to approve the ballot option. Now residents will vote on the 10-year millage expected to raise over $66 million in its first year.

The millage will be used to maintain current transit options and will expand options in rural areas.

The proposed transportation millage would replace the current local public transportation millage for the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, also known as SMART.

The millage would be maxed at 95 cents per $1,000 in taxable property values beginning in 2022 and ending in 2031.

Residents, both in favor and against, showed up at the Wednesday Board of Commissioners meeting to talk about the plan.

Commissioner Charlie Cavell was in support of the initiative and said let’s leave it up to the voters.

"Voting no on this then means you are dooming those poor, disadvantaged, fixed-income seniors and veterans who are trying to better themselves. The lack of access to jobs, medical appointments, schooling and a full quality of life here in Oakland County," he said.

Commissioner Bob Hoffman spoke several times against the millage.

"We are taking care of our transportation needs now. I don’t need to be micromanaged by Oakland County. We know what we need, we’re providing service and we’re doing a good job it for 10 percent of what you’re going to take from us in taxes. I think it’s bad government," he said.

The final say is up to Oakland voters. The millage will be on the November 8 ballot.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.