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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Incorporation

Question:
Can our general law village become a fifth class city? If it becomes a city will the residents have to continue paying township property taxes?

Answer:
The Home Rule Cities Act states “any incorporated village having a population of more than 750 and less than 2,000 inhabitants. . . may incorporate under the provisions of this act as cities of the fifth class.” If your village is also the county seat, it may incorporate as a fifth class city regardless of population and if it lies in two townships, the minimum population is 600. (Section 7, PA 279 of 1909, as amended, MCL 117.7)

Basically, a village remains part of the township with the villagers participating in township affairs and paying township taxes (in addition to their own village taxes). Incorporation as a city, however, removes an area from township government and from the township’s tax rolls. The new city must assess its own property, collect taxes for itself, the county and the school districts, and administer county, state and national elections. Call the Resource Center for the Municipal Report on the impact of changing from a village to a city.

Question:
We live in an unincorporated area in a township. There are approximately 500 people in the square mile. Can we incorporate as a general law village?

Answer:
No. General law villages were formed by a special act of the legislature in 1895. The Home Rule Village Act (PA 278 of 1909, MCL 78.1 et seq.) states that all villages incorporated before September 1, 1909 shall continue their corporate character, but that new villages incorporated after this act would be known as home rule villages and would be incorporated under the provisions of the act.

You may incorporate as a home rule village and remain a part of the township, or since you have a population of between 500 and 2,000 with a density of 500 people per square mile, you may incorporate as a fifth class city. This would remove the area from township government.

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