By JIM ANDERSON
IRON MOUNTAIN - Property tax rates are down this year for municipalities in the Norway-Vulcan School District, but up elsewhere across Dickinson County.
Increases in tax rates for resident homeowners, driven by a new county-wide road levy, range from 0.5 percent in Kingsford to 1.7 percent in Felch and West Branch townships.
The decline in Norway-Vulcan is due to a substantial reduction in the school debt levy. That rate - down 2.43 mills from a year ago - is now 5 mills, compared to 7.43 mills in 2011.
Aided by that cutback, the total tax rate has dropped 4.5 percent for resident homeowners in the city of Norway.
Norway Township and Waucedah Township, meanwhile, are seeing declines of 6.7 percent, according to the 2012 Apportionment Report prepared by Larry Swartout, Dickinson County equalization director.
Debt levies for the North Dickinson and Breitung Township school districts are also down, but those declines are more than offset by the new voter-approved levy of 0.5 mills for the Dickinson County Road Commission and city street funds. (The road levy was authorized in February 2012 and runs through 2016.)
Breitung Township's school debt tax is down 0.3 mills, falling to 4.5 mills. North Dickinson is showing a school debt decline of 0.1746 mills - dipping to 2.9645 mills.
Overall, Kingsford shows the highest tax rate in the county, at 43.4147 mills, up 0.225 mills from a year ago. The lowest overall tax rate is 22.147 mills in Felch Township, although that is up 0.3726 mills from 2011.
On a home worth $80,000 (equalized value of $40,000), the total 2012 property tax bill in Felch Township is $886. In Kingsford, a home of similar value would be taxed at $1,737.
Breitung Township's total tax rate for 2012 is 26.1027 mills, an increase of 1 percent.
In the city of Iron Mountain, where the debt levy for the Iron Mountain School District is unchanged at 3.8 mills, the total tax rate in 2012 is 41.8036 mills, up 1.3 percent.
Total 2012 tax rates for resident homeowners in each municipality of the county are as follows:
- Breen Township, 24.8413 mills, up 0.3729 mills, an increase of 1.5 percent.
- Breitung Township, 26.1027 mills, up 0.25 mills, an increase of 1 percent.
- Felch Township, 22.147 mills, up 0.3726 mills, an increase of 1.7 percent.
- Norway Township, 26.164 mills, down 1.88 mills, a decline of 6.7 percent.
- Sagola Township, 24.463 mills, up 0.3754 mills, an increase of 1.6 percent.
- Waucedah Township, 26.1962 mills, down 1.88 mills, a decline of 6.7 percent.
- West Branch Township, 22.1704 mills, up 0.3615 mills, an increase of 1.7 percent.
- City of Iron Mountain, 41.8036 mills, up 0.5479 mills, an increase of 1.3 percent.
- City of Kingsford, 43.4147 mills, up 0.225 mills, an increase of 0.5 percent.
- City of Norway, 41.3381 mills, down 1.9588 mills, a decline of 4.5 percent.
Resident homeowners in the annexed portion of Iron Mountain within the Breitung Township School District will pay a total tax rate of 42.5036 mills, an increase of 0.2479 mills, or 0.6 percent.
Taxes for city government break down as follows:
- The city portion of Kingsford's levy stands at 21.512 mills, down slightly (0.025 mills) from 21.537 mills in 2011. Kingsford's general operating levy remains at 17.222 mills, while the levy for police and firefighter pensions is down 0.014 mills, coming in at 3.034 mills. The extra voted levy (public works building) is down 0.011 mills at 1.256 mills.
- Iron Mountain is levying 20.6009 mills for city government, a decline of 0.0021 mills. The general operating levy is 16.1318 mills, a decline of 0.0123 mills. The levy for police and firefighter pensions is unchanged at 2.9534 mills. The levy for refuse collection will rise by 0.0123 mills to 1.3453 mills. The extra voted levy (school liaison officer will dip by 0.0021 mills to 0.1704.
- Norway's city government levy is 18.9354 mills, a decline of 0.0788 mills. The general operating levy remains at 16.3942 mills. Extra-voted levies total 2.5412 mills, which is a decline of 0.0788 mills.
Most county-wide levies are the same as a year ago. The exception is the Dickinson County Library, which shows a levy of 0.9 mills in 2012, an increase of 0.05 mills from 2011.
County wide-levies remaining the same are: county operating, 6.1203 mills; health department, 0.35 mills; Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District (including special education and technical education), 2.1324 mills; state eduction tax, 6 mills; Bay College, 1 mill; senior citizen programs, 0.4 mills.
Throughout the county, additional school taxes are levied for properties that do not qualify for Homestead exemptions. The non-Homestead school levies are as follows: North Dickinson, 18 mills; Breitung Township, 18 mills; Norway-Vulcan, 17.9622 mills; Iron Mountain, 17.937 mills.
In the city of Iron Mountain, properties in the Downtown Development Authority district pay an additional levy of 1.5 mills.
Jim Anderson's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.