Oakland County voters overwhelmingly approve parks and recreation tax increase | Elections

For the first time in 54 years, Oakland County voters approved a tax increase to support the operation and maintenance of the county’s parks and recreation system. 

It was the first tax increase asked by the 13-park system in over five decades, but it’s clear that voters were not deterred by the ask just by looking at the approval margin. 

Voters overwhelmingly approved the proposal, which increased the tax rate from .2310 mills ($0.23 per $1,000 taxable value) to .35 mills ($0.35 per $1,000 taxable value). The new rate will cost the owner of a home or business valued at $200,000 (taxable value of $100,000 approximately) $12 more, for a total of $35 year to maintain the parks system.


  • YES: 537,689 votes, 76.32%
  • NO: 166,841 votes, 23.68%

The county’s park system, which attracts 2 million visitors annually, has a combined 7,000 acres and 80 miles of trails. The additional revenue will be used to improve, operate, and maintain park, open space, infrastructure, facilities, water areas, trails, and recreation areas. . 

Holly Oaks ORV opened its gates for the first time on Thursday, Sept. 17 greeted by a roaring line of vehicles ready to ride.

Oakland County is a little more blue than it was 24 hours ago. 

How will new funding be used?

  • Free county park day-use passes to seniors (62+), veterans, active military and individuals with permanent disabilities
  • Expanding the trails network
  • Improving environment protection and sustainability efforts
  • Continuing funding for OCPR’s annual operations
  • Repairing deferred maintenance in county parks
  • Preserving and supporting community partnerships that expand recreation opportunities for residents

Clerks in some of Oakland County’s largest communities are calling Election Day a challenge due to the surge in absentee ballots, but an overa…

The system’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget totals $28 million. It was developed based on the need to maintain, improve and manage more than 230 assets, buildings, natural areas and recreation features.

The system’s capital improvement program and maintenance management plan projects are budgeted at $2.79 million. Here’s a list of some of the major projects planned for 2021:

  • Replacement of the children’s water feature at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights
  • Replacement of HVAC system at the Activity Center in Springfield Oaks County Park
  • Electrical improvements at Addison Oaks County Park’s Conference Center
  • Natural area restoration at the Mill Pond Dam in Springfield Oaks County Park
  • Continued Natural Resource stewardship at all park locations
  • Replacement of the irrigation system at White Lake Oaks County Park
  • Upgrades to the disc golf course at Addison Oaks County Park
  • Painting the historic Ellis Barn at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg


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