Editor, The Independent:
I am urging a “No” on tax increases for Nov. 3. On Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, the Shiawassee County 9/12 Commission was scheduled to meet and discuss the effects of the Owosso Public Schools bond (millage) proposal at the Baker College Welcome Center.
We were informed that we would not be allowed to meet at Baker College as this discussion was “Political in Nature.” Baker College is a private entity and we respected their wishes as extended by people in the community that addressed their concern in reference to the issue.
I feel that “We the People” have been limited to our “Freedom of Speech.” This meeting was supposed to attract members from both sides of the issue, and yet, no one was allowed to openly discuss the issue.
Over the past fourteen years, upgrades have been made to renovate the existing school buildings in Owosso through the Sinking Project Fund costing taxpayers millions of dollars. The presentation is available under the schools’ website. Perhaps, if they are concerned about furthering the educational experience for students through vocational trades then they could consider partnering with Baker College as do school districts in Eaton and Ingham counties with Lansing Community College. Hopefully, the Owosso School District will consider this alternative as to a new school for aesthetics.
This Owosso Public Schools bond proposal Nov. 3 stands to make certain individuals very rich at the cost of the taxpayer in the tune of nearly $50 million (to be repaid over 30 years at perhaps double that amount with the interest), levying a property tax increase of 5.54 mils. For example, a house valued at $80,000 with an annual income of $45,000 would pay an additional $220 each year; this is the same amount whether a household income is $20,000 or if it is $100,000. Can many people in the Owosso School District afford to pay this additional tax? Our Michigan Legislature is considering to raise fuel taxes even though we turned the proposal down in May.
All these tax increases will “Hurt” more people than they will help. Unfortunately, elected officials are not as concerned about the people being hurt as they are about their ability to get more money from the people. Additional taxation is just another form of oppression!
“We the People” have to take a stand against oppression. We must invoke our God-given rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Together, we can make it happen! In the voice of freedom.
Matthew Shepard, Perry