EAGLE RIVER, Mich. (AP) - Keweenaw County voters will decide in August whether to tax themselves for a countywide trail system.
The proposed half-mill property tax increase on the ballot would pay to acquire, develop and maintain a countywide trail system, park lands and recreational areas for three years. The system would include both motorized and non-motorized trails.
County commissioner Don Keith is campaigning for the plan, saying it would keep public lands accessible. Only 7 percent of Keweenaw's land is public, less than any other Upper Peninsula county, he says.
The one-half mill would translate to 50 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, generating approximately $51,000 annually, for a three-year total of $153,000.
"I consider myself to live in a nice home, and my personal cost would be $17.40 per year," Keith told The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton for a Monday story. "I spend more on a pizza with friends when I go out for an evening."
During a meeting last month, some Houghton Township officials voiced concern about the plan. Township supervisor Jim Vivian said the county road commission is considering a millage increase and a courthouse expansion is in the works.
"I'm afraid of too many millage increases at the ballot. Something's going to be shot down," Vivian said.
"I have a sense of urgency on this," Keith replied, saying a trail system would be good for tourism.
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