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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.
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.
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
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.And by having the election today, NMC is
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 >>
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:
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?
(11 comments, 534 words in story) Full Story
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?
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.
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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