So, does anyone (other than absentee voters who receive ballots in the mail), even know what’s on the May 4 “Special Election” ballot?
What’s so “special” about a “Special Election” anyway?
A very good argument can be made that the infamously low turnout makes it far easier for “special interest groups” to get their pet project approved by a few voters, deciding for the majority.
Special Elections are also where you will find proposed changes to your assessments, supporting everything from continuations of the myriad of taxes on everything from property to phone bill(s).
It’s kind of disingenuous because these tax changes are generally sold as “a small percentage of your millage” and expire in a few years (5 or 10). The disguise continues when they are supposed to expire and are then recycled as “not a new tax” just a continuation of one you already pay. The litany of taxes on your property tax bill is endless (and baffling).
Those taxes have a like effect on your phone bill also, and one of those items that will show up on the May 4 “Special Election” is a 911 charge. This charge (Editor’s note: $1.86 a month), while flying under the radar (as most add-ons do) is already much higher than the sales tax rate and you should at least know what’s up.
It’s one of those “continuation of an expiring” deals. It’s also for a service that we generally feel is appropriate. However, the way it is being applied is more than questionable.
It’s applied to every phone billed line. If you have a land line bill, a cell phone bill (or two or three), and an internet-based phone bill, you will be charged on each one of those lines. It’s kind of like if you just had a landline, charging you for each extension in the house. Or in the case of cells, for each person in the house that could dial one.
Got three kids with phones, one for mom and pop, and a land line, you get charged six times! “Sextuple Jeopardy.”
Sure, we all appreciate the 911 service (however you do already pay for Paramedic, Health, Police and Fire in your property taxes).
But maybe, as small as it seems on the surface, it’s time to vote this deceiving “expiring renewal” down. Thus, offering them time to equalize the “taxation” more appropriately (and honestly?). — Bud Meyers, Grand Blanc Township