Sheriff Law Enforcement Millage Information

On March 10, 2020, the voters of Montcalm County will be asked to approve a millage to fund the law enforcement function of the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office.

Why are you asking for a millage?

At the end of 2016, general sheriff law enforcement services were eliminated.  The county operating millage does not generate enough revenue to provide those services throughout Montcalm County. Citizens have felt the impact of the cuts through longer response times, higher traffic fatalities, and some responses being reduced or eliminated. 

We have sought several other sources of funding in an effort to avoid having to ask for a millage, including grants and state funding.  A millage seems to be the only feasible answer to provide stable funding for these critical public safety services.

What will it provide?

The revenue will fund 14 additional Deputies and include all the costs associated with putting them on patrol, including wages and benefits, uniforms, vehicles, equipment, and training.  This will provide an average of 2-3 Deputies in the county on patrol 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Ballot Language

 Shall the tax rate limitation on all taxable property within the County of Montcalm, Michigan, be increased and the County be authorized to levy a new additional millage in the amount not to exceed 1 mill ($1.00 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for five (5) years, 2020 to 2024 inclusive, for the sole purpose of funding Law Enforcement functions, providing personnel and equipment, conducting road patrol, and any other public safety purpose authorized by law? 

The estimate of the revenue collected if the millage is approved and levied by the County in the first year of the levy (2020) is approximately $1,904,216.47.  To the extent required by law, a portion of this millage may be captured and retained by the Village of Edmore Downtown Development Authority, the Crystal Township Downtown Development Authority, the Village of Howard City Downtown Development Authority, the Village of Lakeview Downtown Development Authority, and the City of Greenville Downtown Development Authority. 

Why is the DDA wording in the ballot language?

By law that phrase must be included.  Those funds may only be captured on property in a Downtown Development Association district.

How much will it cost?

Property Market Value

Estimated Taxable value

Cost to owner per year










What if my community already has a police department?

Sheriff deputies provide coverage to the entire county and are available to respond to calls in all areas.  Crime and other dangers in our community don’t stop at a city, village, or township limit.  When you travel outside of your home area for school, work, or shopping, deputies will be there to provide police protection.

What if my village or township has a contract for a Deputy?  I feel like I’m paying twice for the same service.

 We have several township/village contracts that provide supplemental patrols.  None of them offer 24/7 coverage.  If the individual townships/villages feel that millage funded deputies provide enough protection for their communities, the contracts can be discontinued.   It would be up to those individual community leaders to decide if they want to maintain the supplemental coverage they are currently paying for to augment sheriff department county-wide general patrols.

How do I know the money won’t be redirected toward some other County need instead of law enforcement patrols?

The ballot language is targeted to only allow this money to be used to support the Sheriff’s law enforcement function.  It can’t be used for jail expenses, general county operating expenses, or other non-law enforcement related items.

I have more questions and would like to speak with someone about this issue.

Sheriff Williams will be making himself readily available to the public in the coming months. Check our Facebook page for details, including “Coffee with the Sheriff” event information throughout the county.