To the Editor:
I would like to draw attention to the Troy City Schools 0.25 percent earned income tax levy for general operating costs for a “continuing” period of time. Usually tax levies stipulate a certain period of time, such as five years, when they expire. Some levy ballot language proposes “continuous or continuing period of time.” Should the levy pass without an expiration date, it will provide an eternity or forever tax without requiring future voter input. This levy is not a renewal. In fact, it is an additional tax, which will increase your taxes for an indefinite time period. For your information, the district currently has a continuous 1.5 percent income tax.
Changes can occur later on. Perhaps the current rate may not be needed and should be decreased; thus, one reason for expiration dates on levies. Taxpayers should not be paying those “continuing“ taxes if they are not needed in the future. With a continuing levy, the tax money is still being collected and could create a monetary excess. That excess money will be spent regardless, even if they have to find something to spend it on. That is a common practice for some government bodies.
I feel expiration dates on levies keep government more accountable to the taxpayers. That kind of levy is a way to touch base with taxpayers on how their money is being used. Personally, I might vote “Yes” for a levy with an expiration date. Accordingly, I would definitely vote against a “continuing” period of time levy.
— Bonnie Sullenberger