Troy, Michigan was recently hailed the fifth safest city in America, yet voters refused to raise their taxes last night to keep it that way. I’m curious as to why anyone who lived there would vote to lay off 47 police officers, and close their only library, nature center, community center and museum? Not only has Troy been [...]
Troy, Michigan was recently hailed the fifth safest city in America, yet voters refused to raise their taxes last night to keep it that way. I’m curious as to why anyone who lived there would vote to lay off 47 police officers, and close their only library, nature center, community center and museum? Not only has Troy been ranked the 5th safest city in the nation, but it is also known as the safest city in Michigan. In 2008, the city was even ranked 22nd on a list of “Best Places to Live” in the U.S. by CNN Money, based on the quality of its quality of education, economic strength, housing, and recreational opportunities. The kicker is that it was also recently ranked as the fourth most affordable U.S. city with a median household income of $90,000. Residents had their taxes lowered last year, so why would they then turn around and refuse to pass a 1.9 millage that would increased their taxes between $50 – $190 a year, based on the value of their homes? The hike would have raised about $9.1 million the first year alone.
I think part of the reason is that many people were fooled into believing that their taxes were going to be raised by 29%. Perhaps that is why the city had posted this myth-buster on their website, which you can view here. Or, just read the following information, which I found on the library’s website:
- The average City of Troy tax bill in 2009 was $1,114.
- The average City of Troy tax bill in 2010 will be $956 without the proposed millage; a decrease of $158.
- The average City of Troy tax bill in 2010 will be $1,152 with the proposed millage; an increase of $38.
Oakland County, the county in which Troy is a part of, used to be the third richest county in America. To put that information into the simplest terms for you reality show fans, there were talks of doing a Real Housewives of Oakland County. The people who live in Troy are for the most part, rich. Only 2% live below the poverty line. And by rich I mean a median family income of $101,000. In comparison, during the same year (2007) this information was gathered, the typical U.S. household income was around $44,000. So, the people of Troy can afford to pay a little more in taxes, in my humble opinion.
In today’s age of the internet, I see no reasons for voters to remain ignorant and make decisions like this. I realize people don’t want to pay taxes, but look at what you get in return for your tax dollars in Troy. Sure, everyone in Michigan is hurting, people have been getting laid off for years now, and we have some of the highest unemployment rates in America. I myself was laid off five months ago, and haven’t had a single job offer yet. We live very modestly, we even share one car, yet I would vote yes, despite my being hit hard by the economy. Because I can cut $39 – $190 from my yearly budget in a heartbeat. $39 is one less movie a year for the family. $190 can be saved but cutting $15 a month, one less pizza night a month, or three less lunches at fast food places. I’m smart enough to know that when cops leave, the criminals move in and ruin the neighborhoods. Hello! Why wouldn’t these people vote to keep their families safe? Vote to keep recreation programs running? Vote to keep one of the busiest and largest libraries in the state open? Not only does the city of Troy have 15% of fiction books out at a time, but they offers a ton of free programs, such as the grant writing class I took last fall. All I needed was my library card, but had I took that class anywhere else, it would have cost me $400. My heart hurts today, thinking of all of those children and adults in the days to come who will never use that library again.
As a former civil servant, I must rant here a little bit. Hey, I’m entitled, this is after all my blog, thus my opinions. I am tired of hearing people complain about how we civil servants need our benefits cuts, or how we need our pay cut, and how we do nothing and drain the system. I was not that lazy or evil woman you encountered once. I was the person whose work was replaced by four people when she lost her job. I went years without a raise and saw my benefits get cut three years in a row. I watched as my workplace shrank and my responsibilities grew. I never complained about having more work to do without more pay. There really are those of us who care about the citizens we serve, who on average make $10,000 – 20,000 less than others who work non-government jobs with the same level of education (Yes, some of us are really educations) and the perks of better health care make up that wage gap for us. I took an $8,000 pay cut to take my civil service job. I passed up my annual Christmas bonus, my free meals, my free soft drinks, candy, bagels and espresso machine. I had to bring my own tissues, band aids, and cleaning products to my job, and I didn’t mind doing it. I got a holiday luncheon each year, but it was on my bosses dime, not the governments. You can’t expert people to serve you correctly if you don’t give them any value. Look at what waitresses make – I waited tables for many years. I made more when I was 25 than when I was 38. That is a sad fact of life. Actually, I made more than what some Police Officers make. And I never saved a single life, or helped a single person. I just got them drunk.
Troy is 33 square miles and just minutes from the city of Detroit, MI and can be reached by I-75 and an airport.
Troy has two major malls, and plenty of businesses to rob. Criminals, let me welcome you to the city of opportunity. At least one industry in Michigan will be seeing a job growth.
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