Mayor’s Memo – Where Do My Taxes Go?

Where Do My Taxes Go?

by Mayor Sean Denison

Recently, with all of the debate around the school bond, I have noticed that many people don’t understand how taxes are collected, dispersed, or where their tax dollars gets spent.  Here is some information that I hope will answer those questions.  Yes, Buchanan does have some of the highest taxes in the county for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, we the taxpayers have to carry the load because the city does not have the commercial and industrial tax revenue that it once did.  We have our own police force, which is not that common for a community of our size.  Our police force is the largest expense in the city budget, and comes out of the orange piece of the pie in the chart, or what is labeled as city in the corresponding chart.  That means, all of the other city functions, employees, equipment purchases and anything else has to come out of what is left of that same orange piece of pie.

Graph Provided by Sean Denison, City of Buchanan

The rest of the taxes that the city collects go towards a state education tax, school operations, a few different county programs, or programs and projects that the voters have chosen to take on, like past school bonds, Lake Michigan College and Dial A Ride.  The majority of the tax revenue taken in by the city, never makes it back to the city.I hope that this helps make it easier to understand where your tax dollars are being spent.  If you have any questions please email me at, I am happy to try and answer your questions the best I can.

Thank you, see you around town,
Sean Denison, Mayor

Mayor Sean Denison, Photo submitted by Sean Denison

2020 Reader’s Digest Nicest City in America – Buchanan, MI!

About The City of Buchanan, MI: The City operates under the Commission–Manager form of government as prescribed by the City Charter. Under this model the City Manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the City, with the Buchanan City Commission’s main function being legislative and setting important policies that chart the future course of Buchanan. The City Commission is made up of five (5) members who serve four (4) year terms. The Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem are selected at the first meeting in November following the City election. Current City Manager: (Interim) ~ Current Mayor: Sean Denison.

  • Typical Hours at City Hall:
    • Monday – Thursday : 9am-4pm
    • Friday : 9am-1pm

%d bloggers like this: