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[updated 12/26/2015 with links to original supporting financial documents]

''In 2000 and 2001, Sylvan Township undertook a water/sewer project to support planned residential developments adjacent to the City (then Village) of Chelsea. The cost of the infrastructure would be paid by special assessments on the development. This did not happen, leaving the Township facing several lawsuits and substantial local debt a decade later.

Sylvan's new water and sewer systems faced several challenges, almost as soon as they were completed.  The planned-for developments did not occur, and the developers did not make payments to the Township for the special assessments. Meanwhile, additional development that had been expected outside of the special assessment district, which was expected to offset some of the developers' assessment charges via connection fees, also did not occur.

The Township's options by the end of 2010 included increasing local taxes to cover the costs of the bonds; offering a significant portion of the township (likely including the Chrysler Proving Grounds) to the City of Chelsea for annexation, in exchange for assumption or some or all of the debt; or, in the absence of any solution, a one-time 60 mill judgement levy to cover their default.

In August 2012, Township voters approved a 20-year, 4.4 mill property tax to pay off the debt. For reference, as of 2012, Sylvan Township's total budget was $463,500, with a total taxable value of $183 million, and a local property tax rate of 0.97 mills."

That's a Five-fold Tax Increase.  Ouch!

- from the Local Wiki

Supporting Documents:

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