Tag Archive for Property Taxes

State of the (19th Century) Art

"And it will benefit dozens of Detroiters..."

As if last year’s defeat of the RTA tax hasn’t discouraged Penske and the rest of the pro RTA tax crowd (not to fear…it’ll be back on the ballot in less than two years), they now find themselves in the sights of the (Not So) Pure Michigan crowd!

Hmmmmm, WHY hasn’t the republican legislature repealed the law authorizing this shakedown yet?

Anyway…just a little something to bring a smile to you this afternoon.

Submitted w/o any further comment

Some of the language isn’t exactly SFW, so turn down your speakers for about a minute.

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Michigan’s Tax Charade

No Michigan Tax Deal Is Ever Worth The Paper It Is Written On

Since our devious Governor and his RINO caucus pulled out all the stops to quash the HB 4001 decrements in the state income tax last Thursday, it has dawned on Michigan politicians that the optics of the SB 111 – 115 Dan Gilbertville tax breaks just got real ugly. You can’t hand $ 1.8 billion of state revenue over to politically connected developers after stiffing the public at large without gruesome consequences. This is going to decrement some Senators’ campaign finance committee balances.

No one should fault Speaker Leonard for putting HB 4001 up for a losing vote. Bottling up and fiddling legislation behind closed doors until a winning margin is assured is not an exemplar of government transparency. Brits and Europeans may regard such shifty back room shenanigans as the hallmark of sophisticated political process, but here in America constituents want to know exactly how they are being represented. Thursday’s vote told us more about the RINOs in the Michigan House than years of deceitful political media articles and reports.

Thank you Speaker Leonard for fostering genuine political transparency.  Long overdue in Michigan.

It now appears that killing both tax reductions was the plan all along. Bridge Magazine and the Michigan Municipal League just launched a trial balloon to gut the Proposal A constitutional amendment of 1994. Proposal A limited the tax depredations of government employees acting through their local units of government, a popular activity in Michigan’s more leftward big cities and counties. The sales tax was increased 50%, but property owners got some constitutionally protected tax relief in return.

Local government employees and their Democratic political puppets want to renege on the 1994 Proposal A tax deal. Well, not entirely. Just the constitutionally protected property tax relief. No one is offering to restore the 4% sales tax rate. What was it JFK said about negotiating with the Soviets? “We cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.” Public employees and their subservient Democratic politicians have a lot of gall claiming that President Trump is a Russian stooge and a neo communist tyrant to boot.

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Because paying twice for the same things always makes more sense.

"First rule in government spending: Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?" - S.R. Hadden (John Hurt) "Contact"

I’m going to throw out a few hypothetical questions to the readers here at RM, and I’d like to get your candid response.

Ready?

Here we go…

{Click the red box to continue}

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Southeastern Michigan’s Regional Transit Authority Millage Vote

When The RTA Property Tax Passes, It Will Be Imposed On All Four Counties - Even Those Which Reject It

rta-logo-jpgThe 20 year Regional Transit Authority, 1.2 mil property tax plan is on the ballot in four Southeastern Michigan counties, on November 8th. The public doesn’t seem to realize that this property tax will be imposed on all four counties, even if one or more of the counties reject it. A big change from past millage requests specifically designed to shove this tax down anti tax Macomb County’s throat. Michigan’s tax-and-spend establishment really wants this tax to pass.

Ford Focus SThe RTA master plan is $ 1.22 billion in new fare revenue, $ 3.1 to $ 3.3 billion in new property taxes, and $ 1.7 billion in new Federal & State subsidies. A grand total of $ 6 billion, more or less. Let’s say that the relatively modest increase in vehicle revenue miles provided by the RTA master plan – 32% – doubles their ridership. That $ 6 billion cost, divided by 78,327 new passengers, equals $ 76,602 per passenger over the 20 year period. You could buy every one of those 78,327 new riders a new car and pay for their fuel and insurance as well.  Instead, RTA will treat them to the urban mass transit experience.

Urban buses and other mass transit vehicles have a special ambiance with their diverse ridership and high level of maintenance. This experience is enhanced by the faint aroma of pepper spray, plus the full array of odors you would encounter in a hospital emergency room during an overwhelming disaster – except for disinfectant.  Bus scheduling allows those too poor to visit a casino the opportunity to gamble daily on punctuality at their workplaces.

Why riders are unwilling to pay 20% of the cost of mass transit, and why mass transit funding has to be extracted from taxpayers using the threat of foreclosure.  On top of this, mass transit advocates have to raid road funding and vehicle registration fees to deliver their ‘service’.  No free market economics here, despite strong support from the Chamber of Commerce types.

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Democratic Socialism Comes to Southeast Michigan

RTA Funding Could Buy All Their New Riders New Cars, And Pay For Their Fuel and Insurance To Boot!

RTA Transit Map aThe new Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan is out today with their transportation master plan to soak taxpayers in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties for another $ 3.3 billion in property taxes over a 20 year period.Michael Ford Smiling RTA CEO Michael Ford released the regional mass transit plan RTA will submit to voters on November 8th under PA 387 of 2012. A 1.2 mill property tax increase and $ 1.7 billion in new Federal & State subsidies will provide four new bus rapid transit lines, 11 cross county connector lines, one regional rail line, and some extended/intensified local service.

Let’s have some fun by subjecting the new RTA regional mass transit plan to some real, pre Common Core, mathematics.

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A Dead Man Walking: Wayne County

Your Least Loss is Your First Loss

Bankrupcy WC 2Wayne County Executive Warren Evans told the assembled self very important persons at the Mackinac Policy Conference last Friday that he now believes that his county government can avoid bankruptcy. “He is now comfortable with the options” was the report. Little did he know that, on the very same day, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Lita Popke gave the County 48 hours to pay its retirees $ 49 million dollars to restore their 2010 ’13th check’ retirement benefit. Wayne County told the court flat out that it doesn’t have the money.

The Wayne County Commission voted yesterday to tap most of the last remaining funds in the County’s much abused Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund, however Warren Evan’s subsequent veto threat all but assures that this summer’s county property taxes will increase 1.23 mils to pay this judgement. This property tax increase will not even require a vote of affirmation under the Headlee Amendments to the Michigan Constitution, because it is pursuant to a court order.

’13th checks’ are a devious method of looting pension funds which began in the 1980’s, in Michigan. When some Michigan public pension funds earned more than their targeted rate of return in a year, say 8%, the ‘surplus’ earnings got doled out to retirees in the form of a 13th check.  These 13th checks could amount to far more than the pension fund’s actually surplus.  Retirees never had to give back their prior 13th check payments when the pension funds dialed up a big loss, so the 13th check was an opportunistic form of looting – not an equitable form of risk & gain sharing. This practice has occurred in state pension plans, county pension plans, and city pension plans across Michigan. The particular problem in Wayne County is that Robert Ficano stripped his pension funds of the 13th check payment funds in 2010 to make his books look better. Worst of all, Wayne County’s pension funds are only about 44% funded and their OPEB’s (retiree medical care, etc.) are essentially unfunded.

Wayne County’s accounting is nebulous, to be charitable. A read of their 2014 CAFR (22 MB document, it took a lot of lipstick to make this dead pig look good!) shows that the County is carrying forward an unassigned deficit of $ 82.8 million, and only got it down to this awful level by diverting $ 91.7 million from their dwindling Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund to their General Fund in 2014. Then, depending upon whom in Wayne County government you are talking to, Wayne County is still losing another $ 4 – $ 5 million each month.

This amounts to something over $ 50 million per year.

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