Thursday, February 25, 2010

Who Wouldn't Want Increased Mileage

Wait, millage? Hold on....

OK thanks to the internet, I now have a better understanding of why some people may confusingly be pro-mileage but anti-millage. I mean, it's almost worse than a regular tax because it's hiding a tax under a fancy word that combines machining solid materials and growing old. I'm not sure how putting milling and aging together means taxes, but that is the crazy world of 2010 in which we live. Whenever it snows more in North Carolina than Michigan for a season you know things have gone freaking bananas. B - a -n -a -n -a - s. And that, my friends, is what we call filler.

Earlier this week was one of those election days that you don't even know is going on if you don't live in a city with an election and you only watch television via a TiVo. The biggest elections seem to have been in Troy and Bloomfield Township where there were millage proposals on the ballot. Pro-millage people said that without this new tax, police would need to be cut, libraries closed, and no more free hot dogs on Fridays. Neither place currently offers free hot dog Fridays, but they could guarantee that there definitely wouldn't be free hot dogs if the millage proposals didn't pass. Anti-millage people, channeling the brilliant Glenn Beck (who Jon Stewart hilariously pointed out claimed that he learned from "free" books from libraries which are ironically paid for by the taxes that he was arguing against in the speech that he praised free library books) argued that all of life's problems can be solved by "slashing budgets", "stopping services", and "removing free hot dog Fridays."

So the big question, then, is with the defeat of the millage in Troy, what happens next? Troy city leaders said that if this measure did not pass, the police force would need to be drastically cut. Who is going to protect your new Gucci bag as you're walking out of Somerset, you ask? Not the mall cops once you're out of the mall. Unfortunately, I don't think city leaders have any option but to carry through with their threats to send the appropriate message to cities across the state - if we say there will be a consequence, there will be a consequence. It's not a punishment, just the realization of the choice specifically and clearly made by the people of the city. If A, then B. Opponents said "the city must now cut costs, hooray we win." Perhaps you do citizens, but who is going to stop me from peeing on various city buildings? I've been drinking water all night.


Ken said...

As happens every so often, I found myself bummed by the recent lack of both Blogger comments and Facebook comments. The best resolution to this is to comment on my own writings, even if I have nothing in particular to add to what's already been set. And that's the end of that chapter... (bonus points if you can name the basis of that quote without additional research)

Dan Anderson said...

living in troy i was too excited when you jokingly mentioned free hot dogs.

i almost went to Loyolo N.O. where they had free burgers and hot dogs every single Friday in the quad. "and not a day goes by that i don't regret it."

BobA said...

The "tea baggers" live under the fantasy that there are significant costs to be saved by efficient management of government. And while that is always true to some extent, not to the extent that these conservatives believe they can reduce taxes and still expect excellant governmental services.

They called Troy's bluff. I think Troy has to follow through and cut all these niceties they provide in order to show it takes money to provide services. If they don't, they (and all governmental units asking for money) lose all credibility. Hopefully, after being squeezed a short while, citizens will realize the folly of their ways, and refinance these services again.

Craig said...

the reason Troy needed the additional millage to provide services is that its revenue will essentially be cut by around 30% over a three year time-horizon due to decreasing property taxes.

30% is a pretty large chunk of $$ that virtually makes it impossible to balance your budget without reducing services and employees. AND given other laws currently in place within Michigan, the revenue the City of Troy receives today in 2010 will likely not be replicated again (without outside intervention or a millage increase) until 2020.

Imagine being told your salary was going to be reduced by 30% over a three year period and wasn't going to get back to your 2010 total until 2020. Oh, and all other costs (especially health care) would be increasing over the same time period. That's essentially what is happening to local governments right now.

In the coming years you'll see more communities cutting large amounts or services or asking for millage increases.

el Presidente said...

It's posts like this that keep me coming back occasionally for more.