by Lisa Ellison
“Why would anyone vote against a school millage? Why would anyone vote against a millage that pays for sports uniforms and equipment so that the student’s families do not pay to participate? It seems like such a great thing to help people…” These are common perspectives when it comes to a
millage proposal. However, there is an argument to be made that that taxes are essentially legalized theft. When we vote for a millage, we are saying, “yes, it is okay to take X amount of dollars from this group of people for X years. Sometimes helping some people hurts others.
It has been said that you can never truly own your home. This is because if you are able to finally pay off your mortgage and you don’t have enough money to pay the property taxes, the government can come take your house. How do you pay the millage? In property taxes. When you pay your house
off, do you want it to be yours free and clear or do you want to still have regular property taxes hanging over your head?
“I live in an apartment, so I don’t pay property taxes.” Actually, you do. Your rent covers the property taxes that your landlord/property owner must pay. Do you want more affordable rent? Vote no on millages.
“Let the businesses pay more taxes.” If you are having trouble affording certain things right now, and you let the businesses and business owners pay more in taxes, where do you think they are going to get their money from? They must pass their increased costs on to you, the consumer. When you vote
for commercial properties to pay more in taxes, you increase the costs of everyday products for yourself.
“But the families need help paying for sports equipment.” Then start a charitable fund where people who want to help, can do so. Do not legalize theft and require that everyone help, without regard to their inclination or ability. The families are actually paying for the sports equipment either way – through their taxes. Why not lessen their tax burden so the sports equipment could possibly be more affordable?
In a similar way, we can help senior citizens who cannot afford to live on their limited income by reducing the property taxes they must pay. Perhaps they will not be in danger of losing their house or going without the medications they need if we vote no on millages. Reduced property taxes could truly
help many people.
There are many reasons to vote no on millages. Consider both perspectives before you vote on May 2.