GENESEE COUNTY — Voters approved a .04- mill property tax, Nov. 5, for all property owners in Genesee County to fund the operations of the Michigan State Cooperative Extension — including the 4-H program.
MSUE has managed to keep going since a similar proposal was defeated by voters in 2012, due to the generosity of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners, who contributed $55,000 to the MSU Extension’s budget this past year.
Next year, however, the board wouldn’t have been able to fund the programs without a vote of the people.
With a $1.6-million deficit the county cannot justify spending its money on the extension services, according to officials.
Local millages failed in both Schoolcraft and Oscoda and resulted in the closure of their extension offices in the past year.
The tax will cost the owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 about $4 a year, generating an estimated $342,000 in the first of four years. The request was double what was asked for in 2012.
Deb Caryl, a Davison Township farmer who heads the 4-H Livestock Program in Genesee County, could not be reached for comment at press time.