1. What is really crazy is that this article was posted on the Detroit News website today while I wrote an article about a new way to collect property taxes yesterday. In this article it states that the County Commissioner of Macomb County is suggesting to raise property taxes by almost 25% to make up for a ever growing defecit.
2. They are expecting to have budget defecits of almost $33 million in 2009 and $43 million in 2010. Really? The county that has a city that was rated one of the best places to raise a family (Sterling Heights) in the country year after year is that far in debt? How can this be so?
3. Of course the governments only plan of action is to raise property taxes to make up for the loss in revenue. It blows my mind why we even vote for anybody because it always seems like things get worse not better, regardless of what level of the government it is.
4. If the Macomb County Commissioners raise property taxes the full amount that they can it would bring in an extra $11 million dollars in revenue for the county still some $22 million dollars short of being able to cover next years defecit.
5. Sure, for a home that’s worth $200k that is only an extra $100 a year which is about $9 more a month. Not a big deal and for most people that still own their homes its probably something that can be done. Too bad many people are having to borrow from their home equity loans just to be able to stay current on their taxes. Good thing that people can still write off their property taxes on their income taxes.
6. The Commissioner from Eastpointe said that the county is in dire need of help because they do not want to lay people off and have to shut down programs. Some of these cuts include selling properties like the Martha T. Berry Medical Facility in Mount Clemens. About 430 county workers would be laid off. For the people that have retired with the county they would have to look at possibly freezing or making drastic changes to its pension and benefits programs. They would also charge property owners in the county’s northern communities like Romeo for instance to pay for the Sheriff to patrol those areas which are not being paid for now.
7. The main reasons why Macomb county is getting hit right now is due to decreased property values which results in the County assessor having to lower property values which lowers property taxes. With so many homes going into foreclosure they are losing a lot of revenue from those property taxes. Costs for their retirees from pensions and health benefits to the cost of inmate care at the prisons are all rising too. With so many vacant properties sitting around in the county because of people defaulting on their 30 year mortgages its easy to see why this is going down.
8. I know that a lot of this could have been prevented. How did this defecit get so big so fast? It went $2.7 million to $12 million in 3 years. I understand that gas prices, food prices, health care prices, and others have gone up, but almost $10 million in 3 years? That is ridiculous. Its easy to point the finger at the people in control because it comes back to poor planning. Isn’t that all that the government knows how to do in the first place? We can assume that they did not think that their citizens biggest employers of Ford, GM, and Chrysler would have tanked so fast resulting in job losses and lost tax revenue but they should of.
9. But who really cares about this defecit anyways? We are operating in the hole to begin with so whats the difference if we are $10 million or $100 million in debt. The US Government is trillions of dollars in debt and things are still moving (in the wrong direction). Why not just keep spending and keep people employed?
10. I guess I just don’t get how hard it is for anybody to run a government. I thinks its so simple. If I was the finance director for the county I would have said something like “we only have $1 million dollars in the check book which will last us 5 weeks. At that time if we do not get any more revenues we will have to shut down the government and its services until next year when property taxes are due. Since I AM A CITIZEN of this county I do not want to see my property taxes going up because I want to know what happened to the other $3500 I gave to the county (which I did not get a break down of where every dollar I gave them was spent).” Its so easy to raise taxes and say it will take care of everything but I have not seen one piece of evidence ever that supports higher taxes fixed anything. Raising taxes solves nothing. Hopefully you read my idea about using how much land you own as a way to collect taxes versus real estate values. The land issue would include businesses too. That’s right, Ford, Chrysler, and General Dynamics. Your large facilities are taking up large amounts of property and should be taxed accordingly.