Taxupalozza 2020

Coming when you least expect it!

So, what do you get when you add a ton of special interest groups who feel that they are even more entitled to your money than you are (and their hopes that you’re not paying any attention to them whatsoever)?

You get the makings for a very interesting (series?) of elections in 2020…that’s what!

{More below the fold}

I wrote a short blurb while back about how the people running the DIA literally went back on their own word, more specifically that of their former COO/enforcer Annemarie Erickson, by invoking the “poverty defense” to rationalize their need for extend their “one-time” millage for yet another ten years.

They had claimed that the Detroit Bailout put a larger dent in their machinations than they had anticipated and that they will never ever do this again.

Pinky swear!

Just don’t pay any attention to the double-digit raises/bonuses and secret loans the DIA Board handed out. Those don’t count.

At first, I thought that this would be a one-off. That I’d be able to crank out a quick follow-up piece shortly afterwards regarding what a rip-off this outfit was to not only Macomb County Taxpayers, but pretty much everyone else in Southeastern Michigan as well.

Then I got hit with several messages from readers (and red pilled). Talk about an understatement. I was reminded about not just this, but MULTIPLE millages being bandied about for 2020.

Long story short, the DIA wasn’t the only outfit with their sights set on your wallet next year.

Several other special interest groups had also been thinking about the very same thing. With special emphasis on the timing part.

Think March 2020 Election (for starters). Low turnout elections will be a recurring theme as this post carries out.

Let me do a quick rundown to get everyone up to speed on everyone who wants a piece of what’s in your wallet.

Suspect No.1 is the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Back in August 2012, the DIA Board conned finagled a tax on the Tri-County Region in Southeastern Michigan under PA 296 of 2010 for the purposes of building up an endowment fund to pay for their operation on Woodward Avenue. Knowing full well that any tax with the name ‘Detroit” attached to it would spell instant death at the ballot box, they carefully crafted the ballot language to omit that troubling detail and subsequently replaced that word with the respective county in its place. The “Macomb County Art Institute Authority” and “Oakland County Art Institute Authority” were more palatable alternatives.

After they bamboozled the Taxpayers, it didn’t take them very long to start spreading around their good fortune to various board members.

Don’t think that didn’t get noticed by the various counties.

But much like an easy mark who doesn’t pay any attention to the fine print at a used car lot, the counties had absolutely no say in just how the DIA spent the revenue it collected. The DIA Board attempted to rationalize this expenditure by claiming that “it’s what everyone else is paying”. Sadly, the matter died shortly thereafter when the DIA added “amendments” which added “oversight” to their spending, yet no actual power to change things if the DIA spent money on items which were unacceptable.

The DIA also played fast and loose with the terms of their agreement with the counties.  For example: Did you know that “Unlimited free admission” for county residents, didn’t actually mean unlimited free admission. Despite a very questionable court ruling to the contrary (if you count the case being dismissed with an iffy justification as a valid ruling), the Macomb County BoC or Macomb County Art Authority didn’t appear very concerned over this case.

Gee, it must be so nice to have a check and a chair without really having to do anything to earn either of those?

Shortly afterwards their windfall began rolling in, the DIA Board had to contend with something that anyone with any modicum of common sense at all knew was inevitable, but they just didn’t want to accept: The City of Detroit going bankrupt.

The reality that their gravy train would soon be coming to an end was made crystal clear when requests were made for an itemization of their inventory to be liquidated to pay off the city’s debts. Selling off the building full of pretty pictures to pay off the debts of a city whom most of its residents haven’t even set foot inside of was inconceivable to the DIA Board.

Fortunately for them, the DIA had Ron Weiser watching their backs. Yeah, THAT Ron Weiser. He pulled the strings and helped shepherd through the Michigan Legislature the “Grand Bargain”, which saved the DIA from the auction block, in exchange for them tossing some symbolic coin into the kitty to help to pay off the city’s debt.

This is the justification provided by the DIA Board on why their August 2012 will not be making their financial goals (NO! NO! NO! NO! DON’T CLICK HERE), and why they claim that they need a millage renewal two years before the current millage actually expires.

OABTW, the DIA millage (Part 2) is scheduled for the March 2020 Ballot.

Suspect No.2 is the Macomb Intermediate School District.

This one surprised even me because of the fact that I didn’t believe it would receive very much traction.

Quick recap to get everyone up to speed on why their hands are now in your pocket.

Citing the quickly and easily debunked claim that schools are underfunded, the MISD wants to bypass Headlee and place a countywide a 10-year/1.9-mill tax on the ballot.  The goal of this millage is to distribute the revenue collected on a per pupil basis across Macomb County to make up for this “shortfall”. Each district would be able to spend this money at their own discretion.

Now to be fair, the MISD HAS NOT placed this on the ballot (yet).

This, however, has not prevented various teacher unions from across Macomb County from pressuring the various school districts around Macomb County to support this millage.

Anyone wants to take bets on where that money will actually go in the end?

OABTW, the MISD millage is tentatively scheduled to go on the March 2020 Ballot.

Suspect No.3 is the Macomb County Board of Commissioners.

This one is actually under two proposed ballot millages. Or, at least it used to be.

The first has to do with the County Lockup. Citing the lack of capacity and maintenance issues, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners has been clamoring for some time now for a dedicated millage to construct a brand new jail for Macomb County.

The conditions of the jail aren’t really disputed, many of them should have been addressed decades ago, only how Macomb County spends its money.

An item like this should have (and could have) been paid for by the county through the general fund. Unfortunately given Macomb County’s financial situation (which would take me substantially longer to go into significant detail here) and political makeup of the BoC itself (5 Republican/8 democrat), that is NOT really a spending priority.

If only there were a significant line item that could be eliminated and reprogrammed to benefit Macomb County as a whole?

Which leads me to that potential second millage vote; the Martha T. Berry Medical Facility.

For reasons which no one currently serving on the board can explain, Macomb County decided to get into providing direct health care to its residents about 70 years ago. MTB is, and has always been, a money pit that no one had the integrity to address.

One would think that in this glorious era of Obamacare, that Macomb County would not need to continue with that line item.  But remember, democrats still control the purse strings at the top of the Taj Macomb, and assuaging their conscience with other people’s money is still their raison d’être.

Despite this drain on their budget over the years, the Macomb County BoC decided to dump more money into the gaping maw that is MTB, not by placing this item on the ballot (even the democrats can see the writing on the wall), but instead by just jamming through a “temporary” one-time tax to pay for pensions and capital improvements. They justified this by claiming it was allowed under state law, rather than via the ballot.

Whew! They dodged a bullet on that one.

But going back to the county lockup, how are they going to pay for it? How much are they (read: The Taxpayer) going to pay for it?

So far, all that we do know is that it will be on the ballot in August. What we DO NOT know is exactly how much it is going to cost.

No, that last part isn’t a typo.

The latest number being thrown about is at least $375-million. The actual number is a bit fuzzy due to the fact that there will be revenue available due to the fact that previous issued bonds are close to being paid off. Someone has their eyes set on that money being spent elsewhere.

Oh, and did I mention mass transit?

Suspect No.4 the Regional Transit Authority.

This one gets more and more interesting and the mass transit sycophants make another try at that brass ring (aka yet another useless layer of mass transit bureaucracy).

With a failure in 2016 and an even bigger failure to garner any traction in 2018 to place the issue on the ballot, the RTA is making another go at it again in 2020.

Maybe?

With L. Brooks Patterson out of the way, the RTA felt that they had an opening when Oakland County democrats jammed through Dave Coulter as the new Oakland County Executive. Surely this democrat won’t have any problems trying to get voters to drink the Kool Aid.

Um, Not so fast there…

Despite their best intentions of singing kumbaya, passing the hat around (or just reaching into your pocket and stealing what they want) and then simply handing it over to Wayne County to fund their mass transit debacles, not everything is going according to plan.

Macomb County Exec Mark Hackel has not signed off on this. Not only that, but he went out to call the plan “insane”. No word yet if the regional leaders here in Southeastern Michigan were “offended” by that characterization.

This throws a monkey wrench into RTA’s plans because they needed everyone to sign off on this money transfer to get the ball rolling.

Oh, what to do?

Oh, what to do?!?

If there only was a useful idiot to help jumpstart the process.

Enter useful idiot; Rep. Jason Sheppard (RINO-Temperance).

Your money is NOT your money! Why can’t you understand that?

No stranger to raising taxes himself or denying Michigan Taxpayers from keeping more of what they have earned; Rep. Sheppard had introduced HB-5229 on November 7th.

HB-5229 would exempt Headlee Limits on “municipal partnerships” allowed under Public Act 258 of 2011. PA 258 allowed municipalities to levy up to 5-mills to spend on items and areas that they see fit.

With “republicans” like these?

Fortunately, there are some elected officials who haven’t forgotten the principles they ran on.

When the bill was up for consideration in the Transportation Committee a few days ago, things didn’t go very well.

Sure, you had the usual rogues gallery of crony capitalists like the Detroit Regional Chamber, Quicken Loans (Dan Gilbert) and Ilitch Holdings speaking favorably on this scheme. Gilbert will need someone to pay for his Q-Line debacle eventually. Even Rep. Sheppard himself tried to weasel his way out of the bill he introduced by claiming, “We’re not imposing a tax. It is strictly up to the communities that wish to participate.”

Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford) quickly turned heads when he pointed out that the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes during that meeting. “We all know this bill is about setting up an open line of credit for Wayne County,” Maddock said.

Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford)

At last check, HB-5229 was only heard by, but not reported out of committee.

This is just the short list of the millages that are on the radar.

More is certainly to follow!

You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(3)

  3 comments for “Taxupalozza 2020

  1. Corinthian Scales
    December 4, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Love it! Another word-filled sandbag for the cuckservative essay bunker. #HowToLose

    😘

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(3)
  2. Sue Schwatrz
    December 5, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    ha ha ha ha ha ha breath ha ha ha ha ha Fun stuff. As Trump would say, "these people are stupid".

    You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(1)
    • Corinthian Scales
      December 6, 2019 at 11:25 pm

      “ha ha ha ha ha ha breath ha ha ha ha ha Fun stuff. As Trump would say, "these people are stupid”

      Notice not a dimes worth wasted on Southeast Michigan? Do what you gotta do to make yourself feel better/special “Sue” and KG. There’s your quote, “people are stupid.”

      Snyder. Ask why?

      😏

      You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(1)

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