Sunday, May 1, 2011

No Free Lunch

You've heard that saying..."There's no free lunch." It means that as good as something seems, there is very often a catch.

Well, TCU, there is never a SIMPLE answer for what you ask.

For example, one common query from TCU is this: "Doesn't our city manager make more than the Governor???"

I've addressed that here on the blog at least once...explained how that NO, Mr. Szerlag's current salary is $135K, about to be cut VOLUNTARILY by 10%, and that he does not receive anything close to the benefits that any other city manager would make under his CURRENT contract.

Opponents want to then add in his pension -- earned from the City of Troy under his FORMER contract. Yes, people, that's right...he's "double dipping." I'm sure you know scores of people in this state who double dip -- collect benefits from a job from which they have RETIRED, then collect a pay check from a current job for which they are often paid less than a competitor because they don't require the perks.

I repeat: MR. SZERLAG IS PAID LESS THAN ANY OTHER COMPETITOR BECAUSE HE DOESN'T REQUIRE THE PERKS HIS POSITION WOULD PAY TO ANYONE ELSE.

Another TCU question/issue that is completely misleading?

"We don't want a 29% tax increase!!!"

Remember the signs from last year's February millage? TCU tried to tell you that you would pay a 29% tax increase. They would challenge you to find a calculator, spit out numbers, and show you that AHA! See! That's 29%!!!

Right.

It was a MILLAGE increase of 29% from a PORTION of the total combined city operating millage rate.

Total millage rate paid to the city for operating fund: 9.2 and change
Total portion asked to increase: approx. 6.0
Total increase asked for by ballot: 1.9.

So, the 1.9% increase amounts to about 29% of the 6.0 portion. Overall, your total city millage would have gone up to about 11 mills. Your total financial outlay on an average priced home could have been approx. $200 IF YOUR PROPERTY VALUES HADN'T CHANGED.

Most of us would have seen a total increase of only about $40.

That's right...combine your total 'savings' due to a drop in property value with the minor millage increase, and you are NOWHERE CLOSE TO a 29% increase of outlay.

Is that simple? Not at all...it's taken me months to understand, figure out and be able to share how to explain that!

But again, TCU and supporters will say,

"The city is asking for a 29% INCREASE of taxes!"
"Mr. Szerlag makes more in cash than the GOVERNOR!"
"It's simple! What we say is true!"

There is no simple answer...especially not from the TCU.

And now, because of the dangerous language they use? There is no free anything left in this city...no free access to the library, no free Nature Center, no free Museum...

Thanks, TCU.

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