.

Don't let the city lead you to believe they need to cover $2.5 million in lost tax revenues.

Don't let the city lead you to believe they need to cover $2.5 million in lost tax revenues.

The city made up the $2.5 million number by adding to the actual $647,000 shortfall an expired dedicated park millage, savings in a new trash collection contract, and a savings in the milk drain dedicated millage. 

The actual shortfall to the general fund is $637,000 which can be covered by cuts to nonessential service expense cuts.  

Do you want to give the city ten years to write blank checks when they can't tell you the truth about how much they are overdrawn? NO BLANK CHECK!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gloria October 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Please note: the first paragraph has a typo... The city made up the $2.5 million number by adding to the actual $637,000 shortfall ... NOT $647,000 as posted.
Joseph Sucher October 22, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Thanks for simplifying a comlpex issue that seemed to grow out of control after the town hall meetings. Unfortunately in too many cases, residents were left with more questions than answers. You are absolutely correct that the budget shortfall presented in May was $600,000+, not 2.7 million some have apparently been led to believe. This shortfall is manageable with additional non service related budget reductions, borrowing from a rainy day fund that has a 40% surplus as reported by the auditors or a combination of the two. As reported here on PATCH, home sales are rebounding. The worst is behind us. It's time to reasses the financial picture in light of current facts and develop a new, long term fiscal plan. According to reports from the Building Department, commercial vacancies are very low. The Planning Commission continues work on their 20-20 plan which if adopted will provide for new and exciting opportunities for land uses along Mack Avenue. Home prices have started on the long and sustainable path to recovery. It's time to get involved, ask questions and participate in developing a plan for our City. Don't regress to the passive attitude of the past where citizens allowed others to run the city in a vacuum. Those before us left a great place to live. What are you going to leave your kids?
Popeye October 22, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Gloria Woods officials tout that property values have declined by about 30% over the last 5 years. However, they neglect to mention that the Council increased the millage rate by 33% over the last 5 years for the General Fund. The $2.5 million is a bogus number. The City is using an expired park bond, trash savings, EMS savings, and a Wayne County Assessment in a desperate attempt to justify a tax increase. There separate assessments have nothing to do with the General Fund or City Operating Expenses. No, police, fire and parke are not covered by these other funds. The scare tactics are meaningless. The alleged 5% shortfall is a budget not an actual number. If this shortfall really does exist any competent bean counter would be able to find 5% of expense reductions. Please note that no alternative plan was presented. TAXPAYERS BEWARE The City does not need this money. Taxpayers should be asking what happened to the General Fund Revenues that should have been spent on the roads? Oldest trick in the book. Don't spend money on the roads and go out with a new millage. Don't be duped. The City needs to provide some honest justification for more money.
Jim Schultz October 22, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Another good reason to vote NO!
walden schmidt October 22, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Gloria, can you explain exactly which non-essential service expenses can be reduced to make up the $637k? It seems like more than just a few reductions are needed.
Gloria October 22, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Walden - Please go to the Grosse Pointe Woods Truth website and click on the YOUR TAXES tab and all the savings are outlined there... Here is the link... https://grossepointewoodstruth.com/YOUR_TAXES.html
Gloria October 22, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I have uploaded the charts as individual images to make them easier to read. For more information: https://grossepointewoodstruth.com/Home_Page.html
Joseph Sucher October 22, 2012 at 09:25 PM
A file containing the details can be easily provided. This information was presented in an hour long presentation at the budget hearings this Spring. They were neither discussed nor considered. The list is currently on the website. I can also provide it in either electronic or paper format.
christopher October 23, 2012 at 09:53 AM
Walden, Please remember that these cuts they propose are their opinions and not exactly logical ones. The DPW alone has a rotting fleet of trucks that are most likely not even street legal at this point, yet they propose to eliminate vehicle purchases. There are employees that HAVE to keep credits for certain license ( Water License, Pesticides, EMT updating, computer 911 training etc) yet they say cut them. Thats just an example of their blind suggestions. For the record, i have called the DPW and Public Safety and each has told me that none of the 4 that are proposing the cuts have ever stepped foot in these premises nor bothered to ask an employee their opinion.
christopher October 23, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Gloria, If all you and your co-horts say is true then i call on you to please get the media involved. Call channel 2,4,and 7 and tell them they need to investigate a City that is spreading false information to try and sway votes, tell them where they will find the corruption you all speak of. Please lead them to the false budget numbers that they are blantantly giving to the public. Dont lead them to Petes website, you march them to city hall and blow this thing wide open. I urge you to call Charlie LeDuff, call Fox2 problem solvers, call 7 on your side. It is then that i will vote "NO" for the millage. I will not take the word of bitter ex-council members who have a political vendetta and who themselves have led the city to this situation and are now pointing fingers. Please take my advice and then if what you say is true then the millage will for sure get turned down by all the media coverage of the corruption and lies......
Gloria October 23, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Christopher--- I will say this to YOU for the tenth time... in case you forgot... I am NOT in favor of the two TEN YEAR TAX plans! Come back with a one or two year plan and I will gladly support it. Enough said...
John October 23, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Christopher, you know that the media does not care about this issue, nor should they. They are too busy covering events in Detroit. That said, the opposition to these two millage proposals has nothing to do with citizens not wanting to improve GPW. It has to do with the accountability and the responsibility of our city government. As I have said before, the Headlee Amendment was put in place to protect citizens from unfair tax increases. It limits the millage amount that a local government can ask for based on current property values and inflation. Voting to exempt Grosse Pointe Woods from this taxpayer safety net authorizes the city government to ask for a millage increase that is not proportional to the property values in Grosse Pointe Woods. In other words, my property values have gone down. The price of everything has gone up. I also have less revenue coming inn. As a result, I have to cut back on my spending. Put simply, the City of Grosse Pointe Woods has to do the same. If the city needs funding for public safety, then the millage should be designated for public safety. Then we as citizens would know that the tax money we voted for would go to public safety ONLY, and not be spent on non-essentials. Again, why do you think the city government wants a general fund millage? You know why. It allows them to spend the increased revenue any way they see fit, thus taking away any spending accountability on their part.
christopher October 23, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Gloria, the head line of your blog is calling the city liars ????
Popeye October 23, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Christopher Are you cliamin that the $2.5 million shortfall can be attributed to the General Fund. Why don't you contact the City Treasurer. Read the fine print of the millage proposal. It states total tax revenues. Nothing about the General Fund. Misleading??? Also, the City should provide their own plan for the "shortfall". Aren't they being paid by the taxpayers to provide this information?
christopher October 23, 2012 at 08:52 PM
John, hold the city accountable for what? declining property values and a tanking economy? This whole argument over a stupid party ( for volunteers ) and the council salaries is ridiculous. Thats seems to be there whole basis for corruption, the City has cut 19 full time positions, initiated 5 furlough days, has had a hiring and pay freeze the last 3 years, there has been no huge purchases and all the health care contributions have been increased. Do you like having only 2 patrol cars on duty?You act as if the City has done nothing and thats just not true. If you refer back to all their rhetoric concerning these matters you can clearly see the tone is of a vendetta and hatred toward the mayor. These things they complain of was okay while they were on council but now are corrupt? Ms.Howle talked a big game and had every oppourtunity to donate her salary back , yet never did???? As i've stated before, i wont let my city go in the crapper for a measly $350 a year.
Gloria October 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM
christopher, Here you go again... It may be $350 for you BUT NOT for me and OTHERS who had their taxes increased THIS YEAR ... in addition to the fact they want these TWO tax plans for TEN YEARS! Vote NO and NO! Make them come back with reasonable time frame and MAYBE the residents can approve... until then... I will VOTE NO!
Gloria October 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Additionally, none of the other Grosse Pointes (City, Park, Farms, Shore) are asking for these HUGE tax increases. Wonder WHY... Could it be that their cities were fiscally responsible with residents money when the cities had declining property values and a tanking economy, Go figure...
John October 24, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Christopher, I do not think that you read my posts. First, I do not know Ms. Howle, or any of the people you claim have a vendetta against the mayor. Nor do I care. Also, never have I mentioned "corruption" when referring to the city or its government. Why would you answer one of my posts by spewing on about Ms. Howle & co.? Take it up with them. Second, when did I mention the party for volunteers in this post, or the City Council salaries? Third, when did I say that the city was doing nothing? As far as accountability, you must admit that your assertion about me holding the city accountable for "declining property values and a tanking economy" is your interpretation, and thus, inaccurate. The accountability factor has to do with what the city government intends to do with our tax money, should the general fund millage pass. Are they not accountable for that? Isn't it fair to say that the city government can tell us how much they have cut, and how much the city is suffering, (like the rest of us, by the way), but they should also tell us how they plan to fix it? Surely they must have a plan to fix this dire situation, other than throwing money at it. And since you have brought it up, why is the $10,000 city party a ridiculous argument? What other municipalities spend that much on a volunteer party? You cannot cry poor, lay off workers, instill unpaid furlough days, and then say, "oh, by the way, we are keeping our $10,000 volunteer party".
christopher October 24, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Gloria, I know for a fact that the other Grosse Pointes are waiting and watching very closely to what happens with our millage. Grosse pte Shores and Grosse Pte Park are in very dire straights....If the millage passes you mark the word the others will follow. If im wrong i will gladly give you a gift certificate for $350 to any fancy restaurant you want and you and your significant other can go celebrate in my misery. : )
Popeye October 24, 2012 at 06:46 PM
GLORIA, WHERE WOULD YOU PURCHASE A HOME? 2011/2012 MILLAGE RATES County General Bonds Trash EMS Sewer Drain Total GP WOODS 13.5432 0.0000 2.0251 0.3578 0.0000 4.4665 20.3926 GP PARK 11.5590 0.8300 1.7200 0.0000 2.5270. 0.0000 16.6360 MILLAGE RATES w/HEADLEE OVERRIDE (1.85 Mils) and Road Bond (2.1 Mils.) GP WOODS 15.3932 2.1000 2.0251 0.3578 0.0000 4.4665 24.3426 GP PARK 11.5590 0.8300 1.7200 0.0000 2.5270 0.0000 16.6360 GP Woods Millage Rates are already 23% higher than GP Park. The 2 proposed millages will increase that disparity to 46% The Headlee millage rate portion mayincrease at a compound rate of 5% per year Take a look at your water bill. Another large increase. So Gloria where would you purchase a new home? The South end of town is already picking up North end residents due to issues in the schools. Now the North End has the stigma of a Headlee Override. Property values will fall in Woods with the 2 proposed millages. It is your choice Gloria.
Gloria October 24, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Popeye, If I had it to do over again, I would buy in the Park. I grew up there and know the area well. That said, I have been in the Woods for years. My home is here now and I will do everything in my power to stop these tax increases. With the information you shared above, it would give a person pause before they consider purchasing a home in the Woods! Hope that answers your question...
Gloria October 25, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Even higher taxes will be taking a bit out of your income... A typical worker about $1,000 a year, and two-earner family with six-figure incomes as much as $4,500. A temporary reduction in Social Security payroll taxes expires at the end of the year and hardly anyone in Washington is pushing to extend it. Even Republicans who have sworn off tax increases have little appetite to prevent one that will cost a typical worker about $1,000 a year, and two-earner family with six-figure incomes as much as $4,500. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/10/21/taxes-2013-163m-workers/1647251/ So think twice about allowing GPW to raise your property taxes! Vote NO and NO!!! No Blank Check!

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