Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Foolish Tale - Tax Increase for ONLY 8 years - Remember "Read my Lips - No new Taxes"?

The Bloomfield Hills School Board and Administration are on their publicity horse again.

It has been reported that the District, at taxpayers expense, is spending $500,000.00 to promote the $121 million Bond Proposal. Most likely the work of highly paid consultants, the District is attempting to "soften" the tax blow by stating that if approved, it is ONLY an 8 year tax increase.

Here is the rest of the story. In eight years the high school gymnasium bond will be paid off (indeed, the same facilities that will be bulldozed under this New Bond Proposal - before we are finished paying for them!). Also, the Sinking Fund will expire. Further, the Board is guessing that they will go to the voters in 8 years and ask for 1/2 the current Sinking Fund amount. Therefore, with the expiration of gym bond plus 1/2 the Sinking Fund it will roughly equal the increase in taxation from the New High School Mega-Plan. Voila, no net tax increase!

Now, the major assumptions of our Bloomfield Hills School Board and Administration.

First, in 8 years the Board and Administration, all of unknown identity, will opt to place on the ballot a Sinking Fund measure that is 1/2 the current amount. This assumption by our current Board and Administration is pure crystal ball mind-games - there is absolutely no way to make this incredible leap of faith.

Second, the Board and Administration is making a commitment that there will be no new Bonds, Sinking Funds, Hold Harmless measures, and the like, for the next 8 years. Remember what happens to politicians that state "READ MY LIPS - No New Taxes" ? This assumption which underlies the proclamation that this is ONLY an 8 year increase is a totally irresponsible campaign.

To add to the outlandish assertions, at the League of Women Voters Forum on April 23rd, our incumbent opponent stated that the New High School Bond is only an 8 year tax! Not so! It is 25 years of taxation for our community that is not justified and outlandishly large.

What the District is saying to us is that there is a pre-established entitlement tax rate - either determined by comparison to other Districts or our current tax rate - and that your money is theirs for whatever they deem necessary. This approach is wrong in every way.

We need a better return for our community's investment. Team Greenwell will focus on Academic Improvement not how much money we can squeeze out of our community.