At one time or another, most Michigan municipalities (cities, villages, townships, and libraries) place a millage proposal on the ballot. Unfortunately, the ballot language used by municipalities without legal assistance may be incorrect, unlawful, not broad enough, or all of the above. It is common practice for municipal clerks to simply utilize or extrapolate from past ballot language, either in that municipality or by reference to what other municipalities have done in the past. However, the statutory requirements for ballot proposals are complicated depending on the type of municipality, whether the millage proposal is for a new millage, a renewal millage, or a combined renewed and increased millage, and other factors. Accordingly, without preparation and review by legal counsel, mistakes can occur.
Dick Butler of Bloom Sluggett Morgan is an expert regarding all aspects of millages and ballot language. He can assist any municipality with those matters.
With regard to ballot proposals, municipalities should not wait until the last minute, as there are key deadlines in the process which must be met.