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FAQs
Assessing
Community Development (Building)
Finance
Police
Recycling
Utilities
Yardwaste and Composting

Assessing

What is the total Millage rate for the City of Brighton taxpayers?
The most current Millage rate information (2015) is as follows:
Homestead: 37.2565
Non-Homestead: 55.2565

Your taxable value x the Millage rate / 1000 = estimated annual property taxes.

What is the Homestead Exemption?
The Homestead Exemption is the result of Proposal A, passed by Michigan voters in 1994. It exempts a property owner from school operating tax, which currently is18.00 mills for Brighton schools. Every property owner in Michigan is allowed one exemption on their principal residence only (a home which is owned and occupied.) A secondary home does not qualify, nor do commercial and industrial properties. Applications are available in the Brighton City Hall, or by calling 810-227-9006.

My title company says I have to file a Property Transfer Affidavit within 45 days of closing, or I may be fined. What exactly is this document?
A Property Transfer Affidavit notifies the assessor’s office that a transfer of ownership has occurred. This is another result of Proposal A, passed by Michigan voters in 1994. Since the passing of Proposal A, the amount a property owner is taxed is limited to an increase not to exceed (5%) or the annual rate of inflation, whichever is less; in other words, the taxable value is “capped.” Once there is a transfer of ownership, that taxable value is “uncapped” and will become the same value as the assessed value in the year following the sale.

How does the assessor arrive at the value on my property?
Each year, the assessor reviews all properties within its jurisdiction to see what changes have taken place through either new construction or demolition. It also reviews recent sales to determine if the assessments fall within 50 percent of true cash value. The assessor's office also uses the cost approach to determine what your home would cost to build at today's prices. It is a combination of all these factors that determine the assessor's value of your property.

Community Development

Building Related FAQs

Why do I need a building permit?
A permit is needed to ensure that the construction of homes in which citizens of our community reside, and the buildings in which they work, are designed and constructed to be structurally stable, with adequate means of egress and adequate light and ventilation, and provide a minimum acceptable level of protection to life and property from fire.

How do I know what type of work requires a permit?
Click here for information on permits.

What Building Department inspections are performed and approved prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy?
Below is a list including, but not limited to, the types of inspections required prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy:

 - Spread, column and/or trench footings (any buried concrete)
 - Formed driveway and city sidewalk
 - Backfill; anchor bolts, straps
 - Compaction, vapor barrier, and slab insulation
 - Under floor plumbing
 - Rough electrical, plumbing, mechanical
 - Rough frame/building
 - Insulation or EIFS
 - Flashing
 - Firewall
 - Drywall
 - Open ceiling
 - Final electric, plumbing, and mechanical
 - Final Fire Department - requires 48 hour notice
 - Final Building
 - Final site

Where do I acquire a plumbing, mechanical or electrical permit?
Livingston County Building Department issues plumbing, mechanical and electrical permits.  Please contact them at 517-546-3240 or visit the Livingston County Building Department website.

How do I schedule an inspection?
Please call 810-227-0419 and leave a voicemail on the City's Inspection Line.  You will be asked to provide the permit number, type of inspection, address of the inspection location, date you would like the inspection and your name and phone number.  Inspections are required to be called in by 4:00 p.m. the day before you are requesting an inspection.

Who do I call to get a water tap for my new building?
The Utilities Director can assist you in securing a water tap. Please call 810-227-9479.

Who do I call for electric service?
For electric service, please contact Detroit Edison directly at 517-545-9800.

For additional information and questions, please contact the Building Department at 810-227-9005.

Finance


What is the City's fiscal year?
July 1 - June 30.

Who pays property taxes and how are they calculated?
All owners of real and personal property in the City pay property taxes. Real property represents land and buildings. Personal property represents the furniture, fixtures and equipment of businesses in the City of Brighton. Property taxes are calculated by multiplying two factors, the taxable value of the property and the millage rate. The taxable value, which is determined each year by the City's assessor, basically represents 50 percent of the true market value of the property. Each governing body that levies property taxes sets its own millage annually. A mill represents $1 per $1,000 of taxable value.

When are tax bills mailed, when are they due and what units of government do they support?
Each taxpayer of the City receives two tax bills each year. Bills mailed by July 1 are due on August 15 and contribute to the City of Brighton and the State Education Tax Fund. Bills mailed by December 1 are due by February 28 or 29 and contribute to Livingston County, the Livingston Educational Service Agency, Brighton Area Schools, Brighton District Library, State Education Tax Fund and the Brighton Area Fire Authority. Postmarks are not accepted as the payment date. 

Who pays utility bills and how are they calculated?
All users of the City's water and sewer utility systems pay utility user fees and charges as adopted annually by resolution of the City Council. The fees and charges are determined by a rate methodology established as a result of a rate study that was designed to allow the user fees and capital contributions to fully support the operations, maintenance, administration and capital of the City's utilities.

When are utility bills mailed and when are they due?
Each utility customer receives their utility bill(s) on a bi-monthly basis. The bills are mailed the 1st of each respective month and are due by 20th of that month.

What reports are available on the City of Brighton's finances?
The City has two main financial reports that are available to the public. The first of these reports is the Annual Budget, which is adopted each May. The budget provides a financial blueprint for what the City plans to do in the next fiscal year and includes the first year of a six-year capital improvement plan, which outlines the major projects the City anticipates undertaking. The second report is the Annual Financial Report, which provides a detailed historical record of the City's prior fiscal year. The Financial Report includes a Letter of Transmittal and Management Discussion and Analysis from the Finance Director, which outlines significant financial policies and developments; numerical financial information and operating data; the auditor's report letter; and financial statements, which include balance sheets, income statements, comparisons to the budget, statements of net assets and a statement of activities.  Visit the Finance section of our website to view these reports.

Police


How do I request a Police Officer or make a Police Report?
Dial 911 to request a Police Officer. For general questions or information you may call 810-227-2700 during general business hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm)

Where is the Police Department located?
The City of Brighton Police Department is located at:
440 S. Third Street, between Washington Street and Brighton Lake Road.

Do you house prisoners at the Police Department?
No. All prisoners are transported to the Livingston County Jail, 150 S. Highlander Way, Howell, Michigan. We do have holding cells where offenders are placed on a temporary basis until they can be transported to the jail or bond has been posted. The maximum time the holding cells are utilized is four hours.

Where do I pay tickets?
Motor carrier tickets are paid at the Police Department. Parking violations are also paid at the Police Department, or a self-addressed envelope may be provided so the fine can be submitted after postage is attached. Please note, however, that parking tickets NOT paid or contested within 30 days from the date of issue are sent to the court.

All other traffic violations and appearance tickets are paid at the 53rd District Court, 224 N. First Street, Brighton, MI 48116.

If you have questions regarding motor carrier or parking violations, please call the Police Department at 810-227-2700 during business hours. For all other violations, please call the 53rd District Court at 810-229-6615.

How do I obtain a copy of a police report?
Police reports, such as those for traffic crashes, can be picked up at the Police Department. There is a $5 fee. Police reports are not faxed or mailed without prior payment. Reports requested by mail must have a return envelope with the appropriate postage.

All reports are completed within 48 hours and then must go through a supervisor's review. Reports will not be released until the review takes place.

If you have any questions as to the readiness of a report, please call 810-227-2700 during business hours.

Where do I go to apply for a Personal Protection Order (PPO)?
The necessary paperwork for a Personal Protection Order (PPO) is obtained through the Circuit Court Clerk. The Circuit Court Clerk is located in Howell at 210 S. Highlander Way.

If you have questions or would like to obtain additional information, please call the Livingston County Circuit Court Clerk's Office at 517-546-9816.

Recycling


What is Recycling?
Recycling is the process of repeatedly putting materials through the consumption process. For example, when a tree is first cut it may be used to make crates. When the crates are discarded they can be recycled and used to make bedding, mulch and fuel.

Why recycle?
Recycling turns waste into resource. It helps reduce the amount of waste placed in landfills and incinerators, saves energy, and reduces pollutants. Recycling allows the earth adequate time to replenish its natural supply of resources, thus ensuring proper ecological balance.

What materials are recyclable?
Many household waste products are recyclable, but some are not.

Examples:
  • Cereal and pizza boxes. No wax- or plastic- lined boxes, however.
  • Telephone books, newspapers, magazines, blueprints, office paper and envelopes are acceptable. Glossy and thermal fax paper, envelopes with windows, paper towels and tissue are not.
  • Aluminum, tin and steel containers.
  • Numbers one and two plastics with small mouths are recyclable. Wide mouth containers, such as margarine tubs and bottles that held toxic fluids, are not.
  • Clear glass is recyclable, excluding drinking glass, window glass and Pyrex.
How to handle your recyclables?
The key to successful recycling lies in the way it is placed for collection. Recyclable materials must be separated in the recycling bin for best results.

Boxboard, office paper, magazines and newspapers must each be separated in a recycling bin. Telephone books, corrugated boxes, flattened plastics, flattened aluminum and other flattened metal containers can all be placed loosely in the recycle bin. Glass must be placed outside of recycle bin in a separate container. Place all recycling next to the curbside refuse cart no more than one day prior to collection.

What happens to recyclable material?
Recyclable materials are collected by Mister Rubbish and taken to a solid waste processing and recycling facility located in either Ann Arbor or Southfield, where materials are sorted, baled or ground, and delivered to specialized processors for return to the consumption cycle.

How much waste material is recycled in Brighton?
The amount of materials recycled has decreased over the last two years. In the first half of 2000, 156,420 pounds of recycling was collected from residential households. This is down from the 226,920 pounds collected in the first half of 1999.

For more information on recycling in Brighton, call Mister Rubbish at 866-797-9018 or the Department of Public Services at 810-225-8001. Also visit.

Utilities


Do I need a water softener?
Yes, our water is 21 grains hard, and a softener is suggested.

What is the cost to connect to the water or sewer system?
Water: $2,802 per unit
Sewer: $7,198 per unit

What is the water and sewer usage charge for in-City customers?
Click here for rate information.

Who pays for cleaning of plugged sewer lines?
Blockage, whether on the property owners' side or the City right-of-way, is the property owner's responsibility. Roots or broken pipes on the property owner's side are his or her responsibility. Roots or broken pipes on the City side are the City's responsibility.

Who do I call for after-hours emergencies?
Water: 810-227-2968
Sewer: 810-227-9479

Who do I call for the installation of a remote-read water meter?
810-225-8004

Who are the City's engineers?
Tetra Tech-MPS Inc.: 810-220-2112

Yardwaste and Composting


What is yard waste?
Yard waste is organic material that can be broken down by oxidation. Some examples are:
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Twigs and branches
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Dead weeds and garden plants
How do I prepare yard waste?
There are three options available to Brighton residents for the disposal of yard waste:
  1. Bag it. Mister Rubbish has a seasonal weekly curbside pick up of yard waste from residences that currently receive curbside refuse services. Brown bags for yard waste are available through the Brighton Department of Public Services (DPS). Residents should place yard waste bags curbside no more than one day before scheduled collection for pick-up.
  2. Compost it. Residents can dispose of yard waste by creating a compost pile in their own back yard. When constructed properly, compost heaps emit no foul odors.
  3. Vacuum It.  The City of Brighton offers curbside leaf vacuuming as an alternative to bagging and backyard composting.  City Personnel generally begin leaf vacuuming the 1st or 2nd week in November and continue until all of the leaves are collected or efforts need to be changed to snow maintenance.  Rake your leaves to the curb (on the edge of the curb, not in the street) and our personnel will come by and vacuum them up.  Unfortunately, we are not able to perform vacuuming on an appointment basis.
What happens to yard waste?
Yard waste collected by Mister Rubbish or the City’s leaf vacuum is shipped to Tuthill Farms & Composting in South Lyon. Materials are ground and processed into compost and used as farm fertilizer or made available to the public.

Why compost yard waste?
Composting yard waste diverts the materials away from landfills, which are becoming short in supply. It also eliminates the need for yard waste burning. This promotes a cleaner, healthier environment. Composted yard waste is an effective fertilizer and suppresses plant disease, eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It also aerates the soil, acting as an anti-erosion agent.