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    Tag: Millages

    Chamber LIKES Millages

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 03:38:10 PM EST
    Tags: Traverse City, Michigan, Chamber Of Commerce, TCAPS, Schools, Millages, Taxes, Business, Advocacy, Cronyism (all tags)

    So said the headline August 14, 2013 on the front page of the Record Eagle in Traverse City.

    It starts off:

    The chamber's Board of Directors decided to back the district's millage proposals Tuesday morning.

    "It was the board's consensus that strong schools are an integral component of successful communities -- communities that retain and attract talent, jobs, and investment," Doug Luciani, the chamber's president and CEO, stated in an email to TCAPS officials.

    I have saved that particular issue (and took the 1000 word photo) as a reminder of what happens when sleepy oversight meets an aggressive enemy, particularly in an advocacy organization.  Today's chamber of commerce in particular is a far different creature than it once was. Traditionally an advocate of business and growth of a community by promoting lower cost of dealing with government, fewer regulations, and growing a customer base. The model has been altered by pro-regulatory, anti competitive and progressive high tax types who have infiltrated and merely put a face of business over their anti business operations.

    The article which spawned the headline touches on the example of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, and its support last year of a $100,000,000.00 boondoggle, and even more easily this year's reduced ($47,000,000.00 total) offering.  It supports putting more of a burden on its members and those who bear the increasing liability of property ownership.

    taxable properties the school receives funding from has several classifications.

    • Agricultural
    • Commercial
    • Industrial
    • Residential
    • Personal Property Classification from Commercial, Industrial, and Utilities.

    According to the most recent Traverse City Areas Public Schools budget, major revenue is based upon the following:
    Estimated Taxable Value (ad valorem) $4,230,649,648.00, the Homestead Taxable Value is $2,518,975,070.00, leaving the Non-Principal Residence Exemption Taxable Value       $1,711,674,578.00 or 40.5% of the taxable value is outside of homestead residential ownership.

    Remember those numbers highlighted above.

    And then continue on below the fold.

    (3 comments, 1219 words in story) Full Story


    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:21:39 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Special Elections, Abuse, Property Owners, Taxpayers, Millages, Bonds, Section 6, MI Constitution, Ad Valorem (all tags)

    Today is the day that the looters hope you will forget.

    Special elections are happening all over Michigan in order to pass higher taxes, continue others and begin new programs.  One increase is for a Headlee override in Grand Traverse County.  The local college which has no financial crisis, has 10 years of surplus if nothing is done, and says that "the law prevents us from telling you what we want to do with the money" is putting its hand out on this special day:

    "SURPRISE!!  NMC is NOT broke.

    In fact, the college has a 38% fund balance remaining. the annual budget is $42.6 million and it has a $16.1 million general fund balance.  The projected deficit for 2014 is just over $400,000, which if carried through for 40 years MIGHT run the balance out.  Even if the projected annual deficit of $1.8 million happens on schedule, it is 10 years of shortages that the college can endure before its ABSOLUTE cutting time.  And that is under the assumption that property values are remaining flat.

    And by having the election today, NMC is saving costing taxpayers an additional $70-80K.

    It helps them avoid the fire sale on Millages in November, where two school bonds, and a road millage (another stick in the craw) as well as TWP measures will be on the ballot.  In fact so many things are on the ballot, Its a wonder anyone can avoid a tax sale at least ONCE in their life.  Because of people who SHOULD NOT be voting.

    Get out and do your thing.

    (16 comments) Comments >>

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    Election Results Subject To Constitutional Challenge

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:13:58 PM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Constitution, Bonds, Millages, DIA, Property Owners, Ad Valorem, Taxes, Redistribution (all tags)

    Better check those election results.  - Reposted from GROW.TC

    It seems the state has been overlooking a fundamental restriction already in place when certifying election results for 5+ year millages and Bond requests.  Has there been a validation for electors established to determine if the right to vote on certain issues?

    Typically, those who show up for an election for a millage are unchallenged as to their ability to vote on such issues.  There are no instructions that stipulate the law, as established by the constitution REQUIRES a real stake in such issues printed on the election forms (ballots), and there are no alternate means to prevent abrogation of constitutional statute.  The Michigan Constitution is very clear:


    § 6 Voters on tax limit increases or bond issues.

    Sec. 6. Whenever any question is required to be submitted by a political subdivision to the electors for the increase of the ad valorem tax rate limitation imposed by Section 6 of Article IXfor a period of more than five years, or for the issue of bonds,  only electors in, and who have property assessed for any ad valorem taxes in, any part of the district or territory to be affected by the result of such election or electors who are the lawful husbands or wives of such persons shall be entitled to vote thereon. All electors in the district or territory affected may vote on all other questions.

    History: Const. 1963, Art. II, §6, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964.
    Former Constitution: See Const. 1908, Art. III, §4.

    Uh oh.

    A question we should be asking might be: "Is a passed millage request subject to legal challenge based on the inability to verify the legal status of the electors voting on such issues?" In other words, if you don't own property you cannot vote on a bond issue, so is your ballot restricted, or not?

    Stay tuned.

    (11 comments, 534 words in story) Full Story

    New Fights, and An Old Celebration

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 09:54:55 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Schools, Millages, Constitution (all tags)

    Just a quick note on things happening, and a brief note on an upcoming event.

    There might be a little bit of a fight for the taxpayers in TC.

    Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) has decided that recessionary times don't mean anything when the absolute NEED for a gold plated auditorium project is so obvious. A $26,000,000.00 request from the taxpayers of course might not have stood on its own as a luxury, but using it as frosting to top an ongoing building millage.  "Spoon full of sugar" indeed.

    I blogged about it recently:

    " According to TCAPS, the millage rate necessary to repay these bonds will remain below 4 mills.  Given the current rate of 3.1 mills, where did the other 29% increase come from?  The purpose of these requests must be physical asset based only, and this level of increase must surely be based on some specific need, right?

    Of course.  The need for a particular feel good wear around the neck kind of thing that says "look at me!"


    Pure and simple.  Want.  Covetousness, lust, or simply overwhelming desire.  Spartan accoutrements be damned, lets go all out and have us a performing Arts Complex renovation of the Central High School Auditorium!"

    And today, the local paper had it as a top of the page story:

    " "You spend a few thousand dollars to fix the planks, wax the floors and paint the walls," Gillman said. "You don't spend $26 million at a time (when) people are struggling just to make their tax payments.

    "People don't like this," Gillman said. "I haven't heard of anyone who is for this tax increase. They bit this one off too big this time. You shouldn't try to eat the elephant all at once. Little bites at a time." "

    Elephants on my mind I guess..  

    Not all is bad locally however.  Go below.

    (4 comments, 422 words in story) Full Story

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