Inside and outside of Oakland

Trouble for ballot questions this year?

  The tiny election in Oakland County communities Tuesday was mostly ballot proposals, and the results indicate tax questions might have a tough time passing later this year in some communities in the larger elections.

  Oak Park passed a pair of Headlee Amendment override proposals to restore their property taxes to the millage rates originally authorized, and Bloomfield Hills Schools passed a $58.65 million bond proposal for its high school.
  But voters in Clarkston Schools said no to a $20 million bond issue for its school facilities.
  More ballot proposals are likely this year, and the mixed results Tuesday indicate voters won't easily  approve tax or bond issues around the county, as local governments and schools have increasingly turned to voters for taxes to boost budgets that have suffered from declining property values in recent years.
  It's also a presidential election year and turnout  tends to be higher, bolstered by independent voters and many who don't regularly vote in local elections.
  As with Tuesday's tax and bond proposals, voters in the larger elections also tend to be split on tax questions.
  Communities and school districts putting forth proposals in the larger elections this year will have to convincingly sell the reason for larger property taxes  if they want voter approval.

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