The $2.5 million drop in tax revenue from 2007 is real. Grosse Pointe Woods City Council acted responsibly and limited the use of the reserve fund to $640,000 by deferring road repair and equipment maintenance, cutting salaries, cutting benefit contributions, and cutting 19 positions.
The naysayers ask: Where did the road money go?
What road money with a $2.5 million drop in tax revenue?
The naysayers ask: Why millage proposals now?
Would they wait until the reserves are depleted (2015/16) or lowered to the point that the Woods risks losing its AA rating (2014/15)?
Would the naysayers just let the Woods’ roads crumble?
Budget cuts will not repair our roads and will not sustain services as we know them. Millage increases are needed now to offset the steep decline in home valuations.
We have some key questions for the three past council members who are organizers of the naysayers:
The two of you who were on council in 2007/08 voted YES for the 2007/08 budget of $14 million (the last year of major work on roads).
In 2008/09, when all of you were on council, one was absent and two voted YES for a $13.5 million budget. Adjusted for inflation, those budgets would be $15.6 and $14.6 million in today’s dollars. You didn’t seem to think those budgets were bloated or a blank check, but now you claim the Woods’ budget could be reduced by $600,000 to $11.7 million without hurting services. Really? And what about roads?
Why do you attempt to frighten people with claims of $20 million in “new” taxes when in fact we will see a restoration of only about 25% of the drop from what we were paying in property taxes five years ago? If our tax bills dropped about $1,000 since 2007, the millage will add only about $250 on average, and future increases will still be limited by Headlee to inflation or 5%.
Why do you mount personal attacks on the Mayor, on administration, and on council members, who donate so much of their time beyond the minimal stipend they get (which you all accepted when you were on council)?
Why do you attack those of us who realize that Headlee protects the citizens from rapidly rising valuations, but a vote of the people is needed under Headlee to protect Woods’ tax revenues when valuations fall as they have? We are not, as you falsely claim, mostly Woods’ employees or ones who owe the Mayor a favor or expect any favors. We are out walking the streets to talk with people and putting our money into the campaign for the millage proposals because the funds are needed to keep Grosse Pointe Woods the Best Affordable Suburb in the State of Michigan and to allow our children and grandchildren to enjoy what we’ve enjoyed.
The facts are clear at www.gpwmi.us, and if you want to analyze them with an abacus, go for it.
No matter what tool you use, the facts are the facts.
Citizens for Our Woods, Our Future