Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tax hikes, millages clog ballot (9 of them)

Here's one reason to vote this August. There are lots of tax measures on the ballot, and every county resident has at least one. From the Detroit News We should have a big turnout this August.

On the ballot

Millages to be voted upon in August include:

Livingston County to fund 911 Emergency phone and central dispatch

Cohoctah Township 1.5-mill road millage renewal

Green Oak Township 1.5-mill Fire Department millage renewal

Green Oak Township 1.6-mill Police Department millage renewal

Hamburg Township bond proposal for a new fire station

Hartland Township 1.8819-mill Fire Department millage

Howell Township 0.9532-mill road millage renewal

Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority 1-mill millage

Brighton Area Fire Authority 1.25-mill fire millage


""""In all, nine millages are on the ballot in various communities this August. They range from renewals of road millages to establishing a parks and recreation tax in the Howell area.

These ballot proposals come in the midst of a tight state economy and on the heels of three out of five budget millages failing in the May election. Those factors caught the attention of the Howell City Council.

The city is the main force behind establishing the Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority. The authority, which would serve the city, along with Genoa, Oceola and Marion townships, would take over the city's recreation department.

The authority is asking for a 1-mill tax, the maximum it can request, to maintain recreation facilities and to purchase new parkland. That would give it an annual budget of between $1.3 million and $1.5 million.

To help sell the proposal, the City Council approved lowering the city's millage by 1 mill if the authority's millage passes. They say the cut won't harm city services.

"So our citizens come out even," Howell Mayor pro tem Steve Manor said.

Recreation officials estimate the Howell area will need to purchase at least 325 acres of parkland for recreation to meet demand from the growing population.

Not everyone agrees with that assessment. Dave Hamilton, chairman of the Livingston County Taxpayers Association, said the parks and recreation millage will be an "enormous" tax increase for the area.

Hamilton added that it's not a good idea to raise taxes during tough economic times, like the state is experiencing now.

Hamilton says he believes tax increases, such as the Hamburg Township Fire Department's push for new taxes for a new $3.5-million fire station, should be rejected as just too big.

The "government should really tighten its belt like normal families have to," Hamilton said. "Some of these bonds are just outrageous. It's like their eyeballs are bigger than their pocketbooks.""""


Mike MacTavish said...

"mo money mo money mo money"

I'm voting no. I can't afford this.

Keith Richards said...

When these tax proposals come up we spend a lot of time talking about whether the money is really needed or not. This is all good and proper, but there is another issue that often gets overlooked.

These millages are nothing but property taxes. A large percentage of these property taxes are paid by homeowners, while virtually no taxes are paid by people who choose other alternatives for their homes. Yet everyone gets to use the services regardless of the type of residence they live in.

I know that some taxes are needed, but why do people who choose to live in houses have to pay through the nose to support township, city, and county services, while others pay very little? It is unfair to expect one portion of the population to support everyone else. We need to change our tax system to eliminate property taxes. Possibilities would be to shift taxes to the sales tax, or to a tax on car registrations. (I used to live in Indiana, and much of local government there was supported with a registration tax) No tax system is perfect and we need to work on the details, but almost anything is better than punishing homeowners year after year.

anonymous said...

I don't know about anyone else but I am getting REALLY tired of these government people living high off the hog while Michigan residents suffer through this recession. Just about everyone I know has either been laid off, been forced into early retirement, has been unable to find a job, has had their hours cut back, or is living in fear of losing their job.

As if all this misery were not enough, many of us that are working are seeing small to nothing raises, pay reductions, and increases in medical premiums and co-pays. Then somebody decided that we were not suffering enough so they jacked up the price of natural gas and oil.

I'm so P.O'd right now I don't like anyone, Republican or Democrat. I just wish we had an alternative.

It sure takes a lot of gall to ask voters to raise taxes so that politicans can build nice monuments to themselves while there is so much pain and suffering going on. If they had any decency these politicians would at least wait until the economy recovered just a little.

Maybe we should link tax increases to pay cuts for politicians. Every time they raise our taxes $1 we cut their pay $100. They raise our taxes 1% we cut their pay 10%. Maybe this would help them understand what suffering is like.

bluzie said...

I agree! Let's let the politicians tighten their belts! Cut their healthcare, see how it feels. We pay their salaries.

MESSA said...

Wow, so its not just anger against teachers, its anyone who has a public-sector career!

I thought everyone just wants to cut teachers healthcare....but it looks like we teachers are now sharing all this love with the other public-sector professions!

Funny...I totally agree with the concept of limited government and usually never vote for a tax increase. I agree with voting down all these milages, not because I want to "punish" someone with a public-sector job to ease my own personal suffering, but because I think the various agencies I vote under are doing just fine with what they have now.

Republican Michigander said...

You know, we were actually real cafeful when we wrote the Concerned Taxpayers' Group lit for the millage. We did not to bash teachers and we were specific in our points. Most of our heat went at some of the board members and some of the admins instead.

Personally, I have a problem with all of the tax increase proposals coming one after another, and in tough economic times.

MESSA said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MESSA said...

"Cut their healthcare, see how it feels. We pay their salaries"

This is an example of the attitude I'm seeing in this county toward teachers. I'm not really sure why, besides the fact that misery loves company.

I don't have a problem with defeat of the millage. (Even though it was the only tax increase I personally did vote for in the past 10 years, for obvious reasons.)

Us teachers feel the same way about our jobs as you do. Someone wrote:
"As if all this misery were not enough, many of us that are working are seeing small to nothing raises, pay reductions, and increases in medical premiums and co-pays."

This is exactly what is happening to teachers, but when we try to do something about it, everyone gets all bent out of shape and calls us "greedy". Funny, when anyone else tries to do something about it, its called "capitalism".

I call getting less healthcare coverage than in the past going backwards. I call watching inflation eat away at my earning power going backwards. Should I stand there and say "ok, give me less and I'll do more." or should I fight to keep what I have? What do you do?