Village of Britton residents will be asked to approve a tax increase on their November ballots.

The Britton Village Council voted unanimously at its Aug. 1 meeting to ask voters for one-mill tax increase on Nov. 8 to erase the Headlee rollback.

Village President Richard Frazier said the village has been working at a reduced millage rate for years and has gotten by, but now there are certain needed repairs that may go undone if no new funding is found.

“We can maintain, but we can’t improve,” Frazier said.

Some of the projects the village would undertake, if the millage increase passes, would be repairing roads and putting in new sidewalks. Frazier said the sidewalk along North Main Street is in bad shape.

According to the Michigan Municipal League, “the term ‘Headlee Rollback’ became part of municipal finance lexicon in 1978 with the passage of the Headlee Amendment to the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963.

“In a nutshell, Headlee requires a local unit of government to reduce its millage when annual growth on existing property is greater than the rate of inflation,” MML’s website states. “As a consequence, the local unit’s millage rate is ‘rolled back’ so that the resulting growth in property tax revenue, community-wide, is no more than the rate of inflation. A ‘Headlee override’ is a vote by the electors to return the millage to the amount originally authorized via charter, state statute, or a vote of the people, and is necessary to counteract the effects of the ‘Headlee Rollback.’ ”

The current millage for Britton is 9.5186. The Headlee amendment allows up to 12 mills, which is a difference of 2.4814 mills. The village council debated whether or not to ask for an increase of the millage to the whole 12 mills or just in increments. The taxable value (SEV) for the village of Britton is $17,306,762. Based on the current SEV, a one-mill increase would generate $17,307 additional revenue. If the village had asked for 2.4814 mills, the additional revenue generated would have been $42,945.

Frazier said the goal going forward up to the day of the vote will be educating the public. A committee has been formed to come up with valid reasons as to why the millage should be increased, especially since the water rate increase will go into effect next month.

He said they will reaching out to the community in different ways and also want residents to know they can come talk with the council at meetings. The meetings are typically the first and third Mondays of the month and are in the evening, but a meeting or two may be switched to a Saturday to allow more community members to attend.

Frazier said it comes down to, “we want to improve what we have and make it better for our residents.”