Saturday, January 30, 2010

Concerning the Math -- More on the Troy Millage question

I have previously raised questions about the math being used by Troy Citizens United in their campaign to defeat the 1.9% millage increase.  The way the opponents are couching their position, you are led to believe, as I read it, that homeowners and businesses will experience a significant -- 29% -- increase in their tax payments.   What they fail to say, as I read it, is that the reason for the increased millage is that taxable values have decreased, so that taxable receipts will decrease, but costs to run the city and provide services are not decreasing at the same level.  So, despite privatization, wage concessions, and lay-offs, it will be impossible to keep services at the same level as today, without increased revenue.  

One of the issues at hand concerns whose numbers you're going to trust.  Now, I'm new to the city, and I don't know all the players.  Indeed, I don't know who is involved in Troy Citizens United -- though I did see that it was the backer of one of the current city council members campaign a few years ago.  So, at this point, I'm going to trust the city's numbers, as I have no reason at this point to question their veracity.  

Therefore, I'd like to share this note that was passed on to my, that comes from the current city assessor.  This note calls into question the claims of the opponents of the millage increase.  So, I'd love to know the answers to a couple of questions -- who is Troy Citizens United, and what is their purpose for existing?  From what I can see, they originally formed to oppose the use of public lands for building a conference center/hotel complex back in 2002.  But is that why it exists today?  And, why should we believe their numbers over the assessor's numbers?


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Letter to the Editor

Re:  It’s not a 29% tax increase, it’s $38.

   The Troy ballot proposal to increase the millage rate by 1.9 is being mislabeled as a 29% tax increase.  It is not a 29% tax increase for anyone, it’s a 3.4% change ($38) on the City portion of the average residential tax bill.   That 3.4% ($38) average increase on the City portion of the tax bill is a 9.5% ($393) average reduction in overall residential taxes, even with the increase. 

   Residents are being told that a 29% increase in the Operating millage, or a 20% change in the overall City millage rate equals a 29% tax increase.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here’s why.

   Taxes equal Rate times Value.   While the proposal would raise the millage Rate portion by 1.9 Mills, the average residential taxable Value is dropping by 14%.    The average residential Taxable Value in Troy for 2009 was $120,014.  That is equal to $1,114 in City taxes ($4,151 in total taxes).

   The average residential Taxable Value in Troy for 2010 will be $103,000.  That is equal to $1,152 in City taxes (with a 1.9 Mill increase), a difference of 3.4%, or $38 ($3,758 in total taxes).   That’s a 3.4% change ($38), not 29% as has been represented.

   Even with a 1.9 Mill increase in City taxes the average 2010 Troy total residential tax bill will be $393 less than the average 2009 average total residential tax bill.  This is a 9.5% reduction, not a 29% increase.

      The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 2010 is .997.  That guarantees that everyone’s Taxable Value will decrease this coming year (except for new business Personal Property purchases).  The vast majority will decrease far more than this.

   This data, and answers to frequently asked questions are on the City of Troy web page at www.troymi.gov , Special Election information link.
 
Leger A. (Nino) Licari CMAE IV
Assessor, City of Troy
500 W Big Beaver
Troy, MI 48084

Leger A. (Nino) Licari is the State Certified
 Assessor for the City of Troy.  He has been
employed by the City for 30 years,
and is an 18 year resident.

2 comments:

Rial Hamann said...

Fear of anything is powerful!

Fear of the Jews - Hitler
Fear of Islam - Obama according to some
Fear of tax increases - even though the basis has changed

Bob- godd question. Who is the group spreading fear by correctly stating a partial set of reality.

This reminds me, in a freightening way, of what has been going on far to frequently in the press, politics, and in science (whitness your buddy Darwin).

Anonymous said...

Remember, to ask those that can to contribute is good. To force those that can to contribute is communism/socialism/whatever. The first thing those folks do is close the churches. Be careful what you wish for.

The problem is the gutless politicians who didn't have the fortitude to do what was necessary,what the people elected them to do. If I don't have the money I don't get what I want. If politicians don't have money they find a way to tax us more. God bless the people of Troy tonight, for they have taught the evil and gutlees a lesson.