Chapter 1 – Budget

5.101 Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the City shall commence on the first day of July in each year.

5.102 Mayoral Budget and Appropriation Ordinance

At least one month before the end of each fiscal year, the Mayor shall prepare and submit to the Council a proposed annual budget and proposed annual appropriation ordinance for the next fiscal year. To assist the Mayor in preparing such budget and ordinance, the departments of City government shall furnish the Mayor with detailed estimates of expenses, according to a classification which is nearly uniform as possible. Proceedings on the proposed budget and the appropriation ordinance and the adoption thereof shall be provided as law.

5.103 Veto

The veto power of the Mayor, set forth in Section 3.112(f) of this charter, shall, to the maximum extent permitted by law, apply to the budget and the appropriation ordinance on an item-by-item basis.

5.104 Budget to Be Balanced

The total amount of appropriations shall not exceed the estimated revenues of the City. No liabilities shall be incurred by any elective officer, appointee or employee of the City, except in accordance with the provisions of the appropriation ordinance, or under continuing contracts and loan authorized under this charter.

5.105 Interim Authority

An annual budget and appropriation ordinance shall be adopted at least one week before each new fiscal year. If City officers fail to satisfy this requirement, the Council, on request in writing of the Mayor, may make an appropriation for a department’s current expenses to an amount sufficient to cover the minimum necessary expenses of the affected department until the appropriation ordinance is in force, or may borrow such money as may be necessary therefor.

5.106 Transfers and Supplemental Appropriations

After adoption of the appropriations ordinance, and upon at least one week’s notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the City, the Council, by a resolution of five (5) members, may amend such ordinance to authorize the transfer of an unused balance appropriated for one purpose to another purpose, or to appropriate available revenues not previously appropriated.

Chapter 2 – Taxation and Special Assessments

5.201 Property Tax Levy

The City shall determine such portion of revenues as may be necessary from property taxes to meet: (a) the appropriations made, (b) all sums required by law to be raised on account of City debt, and (c) such additional sum not exceeding 5% of total appropriations in the budget, as may be necessary to meet commissions, fees, and abatements in the estimates of taxes, and shall, by ordinance, levy the property taxes so determined.

5.202 Other Revenue

The City shall have such authority to raise revenue by other taxation as provided by law.

5.203 Duties of Clerk

All sums to be raised from property taxes in any year shall forthwith be certified by the Clerk to the City Assessor and shall be levied and collected upon the assessed valuation of taxable property within the City.

5.204 Lien

All taxes, charges and penalties, other than special assessments, ordered to be spread on any tax roll, shall become a lien upon the property assessed, on and after the first day provided for the collection of such roll.

5.205 *Tax Limits

The total amount of taxes which may be levied against property for City purposes in any one year shall not exceed $10.00 on each $1,000.00 of the assessed valuation. An additional tax of $1.50 on each $1,000.00 assessed valuation may be levied for capital improvements or to pay principal and interest on bonds therefor; and a further additional tax of $2.00 on each $1,000.00 of assessed valuation may be levied to be utilized for salaries, benefits, or other expenses of firemen assigned to duty as required by Section 4.504 of this charter, in addition to such other revenues as may be regularly utilized for those purposes. The provisions of this section shall not prevent the levy and collection of the full amount of taxes required by law for the payment of debts.

(*As amended November 2, 1982)

5.206 Special Assessment Financing

The City may also raise, by special assessment, in a special assessment district sums necessary for any improvement which may by law be financed by special assessment.

5.207 Limits on Incurring Obligations

Except as otherwise provided by this charter, no public work or improvement shall be commenced, nor expenditure made, nor any contact therefor let or made until an appropriation has been made or a special assessment levied to pay the cost and expenses thereof. No such work or improvement shall be paid for, or contracted to be paid for except from the proceeds of the appropriation or special assessment or from proceeds from bonds or other obligations issued in anticipation of the collection of the appropriation or special assessment.

Chapter 3 – Accounting Controls and Audits

5.301 Accounting

Accounts shall be kept by the Finance Department showing all assets and liabilities of the City and the financial transaction for all departments of the City. The accounts and the forms therefor shall conform to any uniform system required by law or ordinance. Financial reports shall be prepared for each quarter and each fiscal year and for such other periods as may be required by the Mayor or the Council.

5.302 Payments

Payments by the City shall be made only in accordance with procedures prescribed by ordinance.

Each draft, check, order or warrant shall specify the fund form which it is payable. The Finance Director shall examine all payrolls, bills and other claims and demands against the City, except claims for unliquidated damages, and shall make no payment unless the Finance Director find that: (a) the claim is in proper form, correctly computed and duly certified, and justly and legally due and payable; (b) an appropriation has been made therefor which has not been exhausted or that the payment has been otherwise legally authorized; and (c) there is money in the City treasury to make payment. The Finance Director may investigate any claim, and for such purposes, may examine witnesses under oath. If the Finance Director finds such bill, claim or demand is fraudulent, erroneous or otherwise invalid, the Finance Director shall not pay without authorization by resolution of the Council.

5.303 Cash Management

All taxes, special assessments, license fees, or other sums accruing to the City shall be collected by the Treasurer. All money belonging to the City received by any elective officer, appointee or employee of the City shall be given promptly to the Treasurer and deposited with such responsible banking institution as have been designated by the Council and furnishing such security as the Council may determine. All interest shall accrue to the benefit of the City. The City shall provide by ordinance for the prompt and regular deposit of all City moneys as required by this section. All fees received by any elective officer, appointee or employee shall belong to the City.

5.304 Establishing Funds

The revenues received for general taxation upon all property in the City, from borrowing to be repaid by such taxation, or from other sources shall be divided into such funds as the City may by ordinance or resolution determine.

5.305 Annual Independent Audit

At least 120 days after each fiscal year, the Mayor shall provide for an annual audit of the accounts of all elective officers, appointees and departments of City government by public accountants, who have no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the financial affairs of the City or any of its departments, elective officers, appointees or employees. In addition to the annual audit of the accounts of any department, elective officer, appointee or employee of City government as the Council or Mayor may determine.

Chapter 4 – Assessment of Taxes

5.401 Assessment of Property; Subject of Taxation

All property subject to ad valorem taxation shall be assessed as provided by law. On completing the assessment roll, the City Assessor shall sign and transmit it to the Clerk for consideration by the Board of Review. The subjects of taxation for municipal purposes are the same as for State, County or School purposes under law.

5.402 Board of Review

The Board of Review consists of the Finance Director, the City Attorney, or their designees, and three electors of the City, to be appointed annually by the Council before the date of the first meeting prescribed by law. Except as otherwise provided by this charter, the Board of Review possesses all powers and duties provided by law. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a lesser number may adjourn from day to day. The Board of Review shall review and equalize the assessment roll of the City. On its own motion, or on cause shown, it may reduce or increase the valuation of any property found on the roll, and shall add thereto any taxable property in the City omitted therefrom.

5.403 Correction of Errors

The Board of Review shall examine the assessment roll, and correct any errors or deficiencies found therein.

5.404 Meetings of Board Review

Notice of the time and place of meetings of the Board of Review shall be given by the City Assessor as prescribed by law. The Board of Review shall select one member as chairperson, and continue in session at least six (6) hours per day for four (4) days successively, and as much longer as may be necessary to complete the review. Any person may examine his or her assessment on such roll, and may show cause why the valuation should be changed. The board shall decide each case and, except as provided by law, its decision is final.

The board may examine, on oath, any person concerning an assessment. The chairperson or any member of the board may administer oaths. It shall keep a record of its proceedings, and all changes made in the roll shall be entered upon the record. The record shall be deposited with the City Assessor. All questions before the board shall be decided by a majority of the board. After the Board of Review has completed the revision of the roll, the Clerk shall certify that it is the general assessment roll of the City for the year, as approved by the Board of Review.

5.405 Board’s Completion of Roll

Upon the completion of the roll and its certification, it shall be returned to the City Assessor and shall, except as otherwise provided by law, be conclusively presumed to be valid. The omission of the certification shall not affect the validity of the roll.

5.406 Equalization

The City Assessor shall present the original assessment roll to the Board of Commissioners of Oakland County at its October meeting. After equalization by the Board of Commissioners, such roll shall be the assessment roll of the City for all assessment purposes whatsoever except for the taxes levied in July as provided in Section 5.407.

5.407 City Property Taxes

City property taxes as levied by the Council shall be spread upon the assessment roll by the City Assessor. The City Assessor shall then deliver to the Treasurer a certified copy of the assessment roll.

5.408 Due Date

City property taxes for each fiscal year are due and payable each July 1, and may be paid at any time during July without any collection fee, or additional charge. An additional charge to be specified by ordinance shall be added to all unpaid general City taxes on August 1st and on the first day of each succeeding month during which taxes remain unpaid, until return thereof, together with accrued penalties or charge, is made to the County Treasurer.

4.409 Publication

The City Treasurer shall give notice in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the City for six (6) successive days immediately preceding July 1 that: (a) City property taxes may be paid at any time through July 31 without any collection fee therefor, and (b) an additional charge (and the amount thereof) will be made on August 1 and on the first day of each succeeding month during which taxes remain unpaid until return to the County Treasurer. Failure to give this notice shall not invalidate the tax, nor release the persons or property assessed from the penalty.

5.410 Liens

City property taxes so levied constitute a lien upon the property and a charge against the persons owning the property, as provided by law.

5.411 School and County Taxes

On November 1, the City Assessor shall spread upon the assessment roll as school and county taxes, certified by the Board of Commissioners or otherwise, and such other taxes as are legally required to be spread on the roll.

5.412 Receipt of Roll by Treasurer

Within 30 days after November 1, the City Assessor shall deliver a certified copy of the assessment roll to the City Treasurer.

5.413 Notice of Taxes Due

Upon receiving the assessment roll, the Treasurer shall give notice to the taxpayers of the City that the roll has been delivered, and that such school, county, and other property taxes levied can be paid at any time from December 10 until the next January 10 without any charge for collection, but that a 4% collection fee will be collected upon all taxes remaining unpaid after January 10. The notice shall be given six (6) successive times in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. Any defect in the notice, or any non-compliance with the provisions of this section does not invalidate the assessment roll or any measure taken to enforce collection of taxes.

5.414 Collection of Taxes

For the collection of all unpaid taxes after each July 31 and January 10, the Treasurer possesses the same power and authority as conferred by law upon township treasurers. The Treasurer shall exhaust all legal remedies for the collection of unpaid taxes before the return thereof.

5.415 Payment to School Board and County

The Treasurer shall, within 10 days after the expiration of the time limited in the warrant, or in case of extension of time for collecting such taxes, within 10 days after such time has expired, pay over to the treasurer of the board of education the amount which by law is so payable, and on March 1, or within 10 days thereafter, shall pay to the County Treasurer the balance which by law is so payable, and shall make returns as provided by law.

5.416 General Law

General Law shall govern the assessing, levying, collection and return of taxes except as otherwise provided by this charter.

5.417 Part Payment

Any person owning an undivided share or other part of real property, assessed in one description, may pay on the share or part owned to the whole parcel. The partial payer shall accurately describe the share or part being paid and the receipt given and the record of the receiving officer shall show such description and by whom paid.

In case of sale of the remaining share or part for non-payment of taxes, the partial payer may purchase in like manner as any disinterested person. These provisions shall include all taxes that may be made against real property, including special assessments.

5.418 Fees and Penalties

The fees and penalties provided by law or this charter for collection of taxes shall belong to the City and shall be deposited by the treasurer into the City Treasury.

5.419 Records of Ownership

The City Assessor shall, at least monthly, make and keep a corrected record of the changes of ownership of real property in the City as shown by the Records of the Oakland County Register of Deeds.

Chapter 5 – Bonds

5.501 Borrowing Authority

The City may borrow money and issue bonds therefor on the faith and credit of the City subject to the limits fixed by law.

5.502 Purpose of Bonds

Bonds may be issued for any municipal improvement necessary to advance the peace, health, safety and welfare of the City or its inhabitants or for any other purpose not prohibited by law, charter or ordinance. No bonds shall be issued to defray operating and administrative costs and expenses of the City.

5.503 Bond Issuance

Bonds of the City shall not be issued without approval of a majority of registered electors voting on the question except as otherwise provided by law.

5.504 Providing for Principal and Interest

All bonds shall be payable as provided by law. The bonds and the coupons evidencing interest upon the bonds shall be executed as provided by ordinance.

5.505 Special Assessment Borrowing

The City may raise money by borrowing in anticipation of the receipts from special assessments for the purpose of defraying costs of the improvement for which the assessment was levied. Such borrowing shall not exceed the assessments made to complete the whole work, not shall such borrowing be made until after the special assessment roll has been confirmed. The City may pledge the faith and credit of the City for the payment of such borrowing.

Chapter 6 – Special Assessments

5.601 Power Granted

The City may provide for the payment of all or any part of the cost of construction, reconstruction, repair, operating or maintenance of any public structure or improvement, by levying and collecting special assessments upon property specially benefitted.

5.602 Petition by Owners

If the owners of the majority of the frontage of lands liable to be assessed in any special assessment district or part of the City which may be constituted a special assessment district, petition the Council for any public improvement, the City shall order such improvement to be made. In other cases public improvements may be made in the discretion of the Council by resolution.

5.603 Council Resolution for Special Assessment

When the Council determines to make any public improvement or repairs and defrays the whole or part of the cost and expenses thereof, by special assessment, it shall so declare by resolution. The resolution shall state the nature of the improvement, the portion of the expenses which shall be paid by special assessment, and the portion, if any, which shall be paid from the City’s general fund and shall designate the lands and premises included in the district upon which the special assessment is levied.

5.604 Procedure by Ordinance

The complete special assessment procedure to be used, including the preparing of plans and specifications; estimated costs; the preparation, hearing and correction of the special assessment roll; the filing by interested persons of objections to the special assessment roll as confirmed and the hearing and decision upon such objections; the collection of special assessments; the assessment of single lots or parcels; and any other matters concerning the making of improvements by the special assessment method, shall be provided by ordinance. The ordinance shall authorize additional assessments, if the prior assessment proves insufficient to pay for the improvement or is determined to be invalid in whole or in part. The ordinance shall also provide for the refund of excess assessments. However, if the excess is less than 5% of the total cost as defined by ordinance, it may be placed in the City’s general fund.

5.605 Liens

From the date of confirmation of any roll levying any special assessment, the full amount of the assessment and all interest thereon shall constitute a lien on the property and a debt of the person owning the property until paid and in case of delinquency, may be collected as delinquent City property taxes.