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A charter township is a form of local government in the U.S. state of Michigan. Townships in Michigan are organized governments. A charter township has been granted a charter, which allows it certain rights and responsibilities of home rule that are generally intermediate between those of a city (a semi-autonomous jurisdiction in Michigan) and a village. Unless it is a home-rule village, the latter is subject to the authority of any township in which it is located.
Following World War II, suburbanization increased the population in many formerly outlying communities. In 1947, the state legislature created a special charter township status, which grants additional powers and streamlined administration in order to provide greater protection for townships against annexation of land by cities and villages. As of November 2014, there were 118 charter townships in Michigan (Alpena Township was chartered on February 26, 2018).A township with a population of 2,000 or more may incorporate as a charter township and become a municipal corporation. It possesses all the powers of a non-charter township, in addition to those specified by the Charter Township Act of 1947.
Legislative authority is exercised by an elected township board of seven members, consisting of the supervisor, the township clerk, the township treasurer, and four trustees. They must be residents of the township and eligible to vote in elections. All members of the board serve four-year terms. Unlike the boards for general law townships, which may have either five or seven members, a charter township must have seven members. If a general law township with a five-member board elects to become a charter township, two additional members are to be elected in the next general election.
Charter townships may appoint either a township superintendent or township manager, who can be assigned responsibilities for managing township functions. (This is comparable to cities that hire a city manager to oversee the day-to-day operations of the city). Otherwise, executive authority lies with the supervisor and various committees.
A charter township may establish a variety of municipal services, such as a police force, fire department, and assessors, and may also acquire property. It may borrow money and issue bonds, with the approval of a majority of township voters in an election. Similarly, a charter township cannot levy taxes without the approval of a majority of the township population voting in an election. This is one significant difference from home-rule municipalities, in which the municipal authority can levy taxes without specific approval from voters.
A charter township is mostly exempt from annexation from contiguous cities or villages providing that the township meets certain requirements:
A charter township may still be subject to annexation under certain conditions, such as for the purpose of eliminating isolated islands of township or by vote of a majority of the residents of a portion of township. Temporary land transfers, which can involve charter townships, have provision under Public Act 425 of 1984. Under this statute, a charter township, for example, can have land transferred to a city in exchange for revenue sharing of the transferred parcels. These agreements, known as 425 Agreements, can last up to 50 years, and the land can either be completely transferred to the city or returned to the township upon fulfillment of the agreement.
DeWitt Charter Township is a charter township of Clinton County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 14,321 at the 2010 census, an increase from 12,143 in 2000.
Delta Charter Township, officially known as the Charter Township of Delta and commonly known as simply Delta Township, is a charter township of Eaton County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 32,408 making it the most populous municipality in Eaton County. The township operates its own fire department, but contracts with the Eaton County Sheriff Department for police protection. The township is a major community in metropolitan Lansing.
The Charter Township of Oakland is a charter township on the north Oakland County outskirts of Metro Detroit, in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is colloquially referred to as "Oakland Township". The population was 16,779 at the 2010 census.
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The state of Michigan is largely divided in the same way as many other U.S. states, but is distinct in its usage of charter townships. Michigan ranks 13th among the fifty states in terms of the number of local governmental entities.
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The Michigan Townships Association (MTA) is a non-profit organization based in U.S. state of Michigan. It is one of the largest local government associations in the United States. The MTA was formed in 1953 and now claims nearly 99% of Michigan's 1,240 townships as members.
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