By Jim Newell
LAKE ORION — Voters in Lake Orion will decide on Tuesday whether or not to repeal the ordinance that funds the Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority.
The ballot proposal seeks to repeal Village of Lake Orion Ordinance No. 36.05 which established the DDA’s Tax Increment Financing District, which was last approved in 2020, and seeks to adopt a new ordinance, Ordinance No. 36.06.
A “Yes” vote cast on the ballot would support repealing the current ordinance and eliminate the DDA’s TIF capture district. A “No” vote would leave the current ordinance in place and not eliminate the DDA’s tax capture.
The wording on the ballot reads:
Ordinance No. 36.05 approved a fourth amendment to the Tax Increment Financing Plan for the Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority, originally approved in 1985, continuing its tax capture from the Village of Lake Orion and other effected taxing authorities until December 2039.
Shall the Village of Lake Orion adopt Ordinance No. 36.06, which repeals Ordinance No. 36.05, and cease the capture of taxes from the Village of Lake Orion and other affected taxing authorities?
Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. Voters in Precinct 2 – which is Village of Lake Orion residents only – will vote at Village Hall, 21 E. Church St. This is the only issue on the ballot. All other Orion Township residents will not vote in this election.
The issue was placed on the ballot after Lake Orion citizens initiated a grassroots effort and gathered enough signatures to have the proposal certified by the county elections division and placed on the ballot.
The DDA and Village of Lake Orion had filed a lawsuit in Circuit Court for a preliminary injunction to stop the election. That attempt failed.
Proponents of the DDA say that the DDA is essential to the continued maintenance and development of downtown Lake Orion.
Those who support repealing the ordinance and eliminating the tax capture argue that a large portion of the tax capture is residential and that those taxes should go to the village government to be used for all citizens in the village, and not for the DDA to spend in its district alone.
By Jim Newell