SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Shawnee Township Police Chief Michael Keith said in a statement released Thursday that voter approval of a 3.5-mill property tax levy for the township police department that will appear on the May 4 ballot is crucial for the department to continue at its current level of service.
A portion of the levy — 2 mills — replaces the levy that expired in 2020. The remaining 1.5 mills represent additional money. The 2-mill replacement costs the homeowner of a $100,000 property approximately $70 per year, Keith said. The additional 1.5-mill is an additional $52.50 annually, for a total of $122.50 per $100,000 of valuation.
Keith said the police department has operated on a levy first passed in 2005 with no additional funding for 16 years as costs have risen.
“The 2-mill levy is approximately 60% of our department’s tax revenue, with 75% of expenses being personnel. It will also let us upgrade equipment and research more efficient methods to complete our duties to the community,” the chief said.
“If the levy fails, there will be layoffs, and necessary equipment purchases will be delayed or canceled. Training other than the minimum required will not occur. Services will have to be reduced and prioritized. The number of officers on the street will be reduced and we will not be able to conduct our own investigations.”
Keith said that in 2006, the year the levy passed, the department responded to 3,912 calls for service. In 2019 that number had risen to 6,690.