Are they taxing us just because they can?

To the editor

Among the many detrimental tax bills passed by our state legislature, some left the taxing option up to the governing boards.  The county boards were left with the option of imposing a wheel tax on us anytime a vehicle is bought, registered, or yearly tabs are purchased.  Our school board was given the option of imposing a local operating levy without voter approval.

The county board has already voted the wheel tax in.  Although, over the last few years they have been doing a good job in cost containment, they just couldn’t resist this extra money (with the exception of Montzka and Walker).  There are no details of how this money will be spent; will it be allocated to specific sites, will it just flow into the budget, will it become a slush fund?   How big a cut does the state get for collection fees?  No one knows these answers. The burden is relatively small to the taxpayers, but the point is they shouldn’t be taxing us just because they can.

The school board has a much bigger decision to make.  They will be voting on whether to pass a local operating levy, without voter approval, that will cost the taxpayers about the same amount as the last failed referendum.  Our superintendent has urged the board to pass this because if passed the state will then kick in additional funds and this makes it a good deal. Good deal or not, it will still cost the taxpayers the same as the referendum that was voted down.   They know where the voters that elected them stand.  Because of a location equity bill, the school will already receive an additional $212 per student increase—do the really need this operating levy or are they too going to tax us just because they can?

Marian E. Murphy

North Branch

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