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Sunday, May 15, 2011

State of the City

What is the state of the City of Troy, May 15, 2011?

-- Unless council votes to approve language at tomorrow night's council meeting to put a ballot measure on for August, our library will close -- probably as of tomorrow.

-- This opportunity to fund the library will provide enough revenue over the five years to keep the LOWER-LEVEL library of today going. It is NOT for a full-service library as we have had in the past. But it keeps the doors open.

-- Residents have to vote on every single request to increase a millage rate because of a 2008 City Charter Amendment that has capped our millage rate.

-- Most city councils have the freedom to raise and lower millage rates according to economic need.

--Troy's city council is unable to do so...the Charter Amendment enacted in 2008 prohibits them from setting a mill rate sustainable enough to keep all vital city services and quality of life venues operating as property values fall.

-- When your property values fall, you pay less tax. Less tax paid means less revenue to your city. That revenue is what pays for all your services.

-- But...ONLY 26 CENTS OF EVERY TAX DOLLAR GOES TO THE CITY TO SUSTAIN VITAL SERVICES. The rest of your tax bill is doled out for the schools, your garbage collection, the county...etc.

-- Troy Citizens United, the anti-tax citizens group, spearheaded the movement to get the Charter Amendment passed.

-- Troy Citizens United -- TCU -- wants us to have to vote on every millage increase, yet they DON'T WANT ANY MILLAGE REQUEST TO COME TO A VOTE.

-- When millage requests come to a vote, TCU undermines our democratic process by confusing and misleading voters. [Don't tell me that doesn't happen -- it does. I've spoken with COUNTLESS residents who were confused by last November's Proposal 1 fiasco.]

-- TCU was responsible for the three 'other' millage requests on the November ballot that lead to all that confusion, and they bragged about being 'humbled' that they tricked us and defeated Proposal 1.

-- If our library closes, we lose one more valuable asset that makes Troy a desirable place to live.

--Troy has already lost nearly our entire award-winning Parks and Recreation Department and services, will likely see the Nature Center and Museum close unless they can find sustainable PRIVATE funding, and no longer has ability to service animal control needs at the level previously experienced.

-- Funding the library without long-term sustainable revenue gained via a millage increase means some other portion of our city services will have to be cut.

-- Making it MANDATORY to fund the library in any financial circumstance and without the ability to raise revenue -- as per Edward Kempen's latest petition requesting ANOTHER dangerous Charter Amendment -- will make it MANDATORY that some other portion of our services suffers.

-- Cities can no more CUT their way out of a revenue problem than they can tax their way out. Forward thinking cities like Troy attempt a mix of BOTH. Fortunately for us, TROY HAS ACHIEVED MANY CONCESSIONS IN EMPLOYEE PAY/BENEFITS and made other necessary cuts.

-- Cutting much more will make city services unsustainable.

-- Troy has a REVENUE problem, not an expenditure problem.

-- WE NEED LONG-TERM, SUSTAINABLE REVENUE to save our library...and to SAVE TROY.

-- Support millage increases...protect your investment in your home...SAVE TROY.

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