Wednesday, March 31, 2004

GR Taxes Just Went Up Again

-4/1/04 CORRECTION: The City Commission voted to have a hearing on this issue before voting on it. Is there any doubt they'll vote in favor of it?

Yesterday the Grand Rapids City Commission voted to tack on an "administrative" fee to our property tax bills. There doesn't seem to have been much media coverage on this issue. This tax increase will raise an additional $1.35 million in general operating revenues.

Some of the wording in the resolution that the Commission passed is pretty funny. Here's an excerpt:

"WHEREAS, in view of the City's severely depressed financial condition, the City Commission has a fiduciary responsibility to look to all lawful means for raising revenues to offset the impending huge budget shortfall so that service cuts to the citizens can be minimized."

Perhaps they should refer to it as the City Government's depressed financial condition, not the city's. But then again, with the incessant tax increases and layoffs around the city, perhaps they were inadvertently accurate with the above wording. Cuts seem to be the last resort to our tax and spend city fathers. Of course, the first thing they go after are police and fire rather than the load of social programs the city government involves itself in.

And in another contradictory move, the Mayor and Commissioner Tormala are lamenting job growth in Grand Rapids. They created a New Economy Task Force to attract jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs. Maybe they should look at their own policies of high taxation and regulation that create the business-unfriendly environment in Grand Rapids, West Michigan, and Michigan. But they won't. They will propose more subsidies and special favors for some companies... and no relief for the rest of us.

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