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print email Source: Letter: Letters to the Editor
Library Millage
December 04, 2012 | 06:01 PM

While I have great respect for the opinions of Ms. Heazlit and the Powells, I have to agree with Mike Powell on this issue.

In addition to the issues raised in recent letters, city residents were being asked to approve a 1.25 mill increase in their taxes with the promise that the city operating millage would be reduced by .69 mills if the library tax increase was approved. A decision that would be made solely by the City Council, not the residents and taxpayers of the city. Township residents on the other hand were guaranteed the .69 mill reduction which means they were voting for a smaller tax increase than city residents.

Even with that, township residents defeated this tax increase while a majority of city residents were in favor. Perhaps this is why the city has far more representation on the Library Board since they are obviously more supportive than township residents, and seemingly more willing to pay higher taxes. We can obviously all ignore the fact that there is no other legal or moral reason for this disproportionate representation.

Even more interesting is that township residents could have voted higher taxes on city residents than on themselves even if city residents had been overwhelmingly against higher taxes. Hardly the local control our city leaders keep touting as the reason we must be a city and continue to pay higher taxes than our friends in the surrounding township who provide almost all our essential services.

Then we have the undisputable fact that all our elected leaders, and appointed board of library supporters, have unanimously voted in favor of the higher library tax and will no doubt use their positions of power to promote it for the next two years at which time they will try again. This is not informing the public so they can make an educated decision but a few people dictating how the rest of us will spend what little money we have left.

I like a library as much as the next person. I just don't understand why we can't get honest, unbiased information from which we can make a decision and cast a vote. A vote that will mean something instead of being reconsidered, or ignored, whenever it is more convenient for those who supposedly represent all of us.

There is obvioulsy a lot of confusion on this issue, many misstatements and, what appears to be a complete misunderstanding of how property value related taxes are supposed to work. Perhaps this defeat and the next two years will give everyone the opportunity to understand the issues better and make an educated vote the next time.

Cory Johnston
Village of Clarkston
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