Consider tax proposals carefully

Voters have to perform a lot of cost-benefit analyses over the next couple months as they consider numerous tax proposals that will appear on the Aug. 6 ballot.

From a property tax to fund 911 dispatch in Alcona County to a tax hike for Montmorency County operations to a tax for ambulance service in the Rogers City area, voters across Northeast Michigan will have multiple property tax proposals to weigh as they head to the polls.

We urge voters to weigh each proposal carefully, considering both what it’ll cost them in taxes and the service the government would provide with that money. Decide not just whether the cost is too high but also whether the service is worth that cost.

Let’s take, for example, the proposed renewal of a property tax for roads in Montmorency County’s Rust Township.

The township wants to continue to levy 1 mill of property tax for the next four years.

The tax would cost the typical Rust Township homeowner about $110 a year, based on the median home value of $220,000 (the owner of $100,000 home would pay about $50 a year, the owner of a $300,000 home would pay about $150 a year).

On one hand, $110 isn’t much throughout the course of a year. That’s a little more than $2 a week, or about 30 cents a day.

On the other hand, that’s maybe a week’s worth of groceries, a couple tanks of gas, a good chunk of a cable/internet bill. In short, that’s $110 Rust Township residents could use somewhere else, especially in this time of inflationary price squeezes.

However, in return for that $110,000, the township gets thousands of dollars a year to apply toward road maintenance. Township residents and township visitors and township passers-through get better, more maintained, and safer roads.

Is that worth $110?

That’s something for township voters to decide.

We simply urge all voters across Northeast Michigan to weigh the cost of a tax proposal against the benefits of paying that tax before they fill in that yes or no bubble on the ballot.


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