Monday, July 20, 2015

Change PA 236



Same principle. The Lansing legislature and governor.

Recently Wayne County transferred a judgment for $49 million to the tax bills of Wayne County taxpayers. The authorization they say comes from PA236 last amended three years before the Headlee amendment.  It is our contention that this was in error. Rather than fight this in court we have decided to permanently amend the statute to leave no doubt that this is illegal and bring it under the Headlee amendment without any doubt as to how the debt should be repaid.    
It is very difficult to identify as most people have escrow accounts and trust that payments for services received are what is being paid for from their taxes. This is a constant problem all across Michigan.

I am not an attorney and am asking for the assistance from those who are, for help with the correct wording.  I am also looking for legislators who would be willing to sponsor or cosponsor the legislation which ultimately requires that judgments come from the general fund of the local government or from voted funds under the restrictions of Headlee.  This might make it necessary to carry liability insurance or if self insured a catastrophic policy to safeguard  taxpayers. This is the my changed copy. Sugestions are appreciated.

600.6093 Recovery of judgment against township, village, city, or county.
Sec. 6093. (1) Whenever judgment is recovered against any township, village, or city, or against the trustees or common council, or officers thereof, in any action prosecuted by or against them in their name of office, the clerk of the court shall, on the application of the party in whose favor judgment is rendered, his attorney, executor, administrator, or assigns, make and deliver to the party so applying a certified transcript of the judgment, showing the amount and date thereof, with the rate of interest thereon, and of the costs as taxed under the seal of the court, if in a court having a seal. The party obtaining the certified transcript may file it with the supervisor of the township, if the judgment is against the township, or with the assessing officer or if the judgment is against a city or village. The supervisor or assessing officer receiving the certified transcript or transcripts of judgment shall proceed to assess the amount thereof with the costs and interests from the date of rendition of judgment to the time when the warrant for the collection thereof will expire.

The supervisor or assessing officer shall set forth in the warrant separately, stating the amount thereof and to whom payable, and it shall be returned in the same manner as other taxes.  The supervisor or assessing officer, at the time when he delivers the tax roll to the treasurer or collecting officer of any township, city, or village, shall deliver to the township clerk or to the clerk or recording officer of the city or, a statement in writing under his hand, setting forth in detail and separately the judgment stating the amount with costs and interest as herein provided, and to whom payable. The treasurer or collecting officer of the township, city, or village, shall  pay the judgment to the owner thereof or his attorney, on or before the date when the tax roll and warrant shall be returnable from the general fund budget, or funds authorized by the voters of the local unit of government, or insurance carried by the local unit of government.  If the local unit of government is self insured and the award is greater than funds set aside for such purposes, they are required to carry catastrophic insurance as a safeguard for the taxpayers. In case any supervisor, treasurer, or other assessing or collecting officer neglects or refuses to comply with any of the provisions of this section he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 and costs of prosecution, or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding 3 months, or by both fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to exclude other remedies given by law for the enforcement of the judgment.

(2) In any case where a judgment is recovered against a village which, by reason of holding no municipal elections, or for any other reason has no available assessing officer within the jurisdiction of the court wherein the judgment is rendered, the owner of the judgment or any person knowing the facts, acting on behalf of the owner, may make an affidavit showing that the village against which a judgment is pending and unsatisfied, has no available assessing officer within the jurisdiction, and file it with the clerk of the court wherein the judgment is written. The officer who makes the certified transcript shall attach thereto a copy of the affidavit, the correctness of which copy shall also be certified to in the certificate. Any party receiving the certified transcript of judgment and affidavit may file it with the supervisor of the township in which the village, having no assessing officer is located.

(3) When judgment is recovered against any county or the board of supervisors or any county officer in an action prosecuted by or against him in his name of office, the judgment unless reversed shall be paid from the general fund budget, voted funds or insurance.  If the local unit of government chooses to self insure they must also carry catastrophic insurance in case the award exceeds the amount set aside for such purposes as other county charges, and when collected shall be paid by the county treasurer to the person to whom the judgment has been adjudged upon the delivery of a proper voucher therefor.
History:   1961, Act 236, Eff. Jan. 1, 1963;    Am. 1974, Act 297, Eff. Apr. 1

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Evans Will Veto Commissioners Vote to Not Increase Taxes



Today the Wayne County Commission voted by a vote of 9 to 5 not to raise taxes of $49 million on our summer taxes. County Executive Evans is expected to veto that and place a special assessment on our tax bills unless we can convince one of the commissioner to change their vote to override the veto. Commisioners   Webb, Killeen, Clark-Coleman, Ware and Scott voted no on transferring the money to avoid putting the bill on taxpayers. Alisha Bell was absent. The rest voted to keep taxpayers from getting the extra tax this summer.  
 According to the commission Chair they will try to override his veto in about a week and a half, but will need help from at least one of those who voted against us today.

  

Distribution List Name:              WC Commission

Members:                                    

Com. Al Haidous (ahaidous@waynecounty.com)  ahaidous@waynecounty.com
Com. Alisha Bell (abell3@co.wayne.mi.us)              abell3@co.wayne.mi.us
Com. Burton Leland (bleland@co.wayne.mi.us)    bleland@co.wayne.mi.us
Com. Diane Webb (dwebb1@co.wayne.mi.us)      dwebb1@co.wayne.mi.us
Com. Gary Woronchak (gworonch@co.wayne.mi.us)         gworonch@co.wayne.mi.us
Com. Ilona Varga (ivarga@co.wayne.mi.us)           ivarga@co.wayne.mi.us
Com. Jewel Ware (jstaff@co.wayne.mi.us)            jstaff@co.wayne.mi.us
Com. Joe Barone (jbarone@waynecounty.com)    jbarone@waynecounty.com
Com. Joseph Palamara (jpalamar@co.wayne.mi.us)           jpalamar@co.wayne.mi.us
Com. Martha Scott (mscott2@waynecounty.com)              mscott2@waynecounty.com
Com. Ramond Basham               rbasham@co.wayne.mi.us
Com. Richard (Richard@RichardLeBlanc.com)       Richard@RichardLeBlanc.com
Com. Richard L Blanc (District12@waynecounty.com)        District12@waynecounty.com
Com. Terry Marecki                    tmarecki@waynecounty.com
Com. Tim Killeen (tkilleen@co.wayne.mi.us)          tkilleen@co.wayne.mi.us

Please contact everyone in your address book who lives in Wayne County and tell them to contact their commissioner and others if they can.
Special assessments are completely out of control and used to violate the Headlee Amendment:
Article IX section 31 of the State Constitution limits your ability to tax.

§ 31 Levying tax or increasing rate of existing tax; maximum tax rate on new base; increase in assessed valuation of property; exceptions to limitations.
Sec. 31. Units of Local Government are hereby prohibited from levying any tax not authorized by law or charter when this section is ratified or from increasing the rate of an existing tax above that rate authorized by law or charter when this section is ratified, without the approval of a majority of the qualified electors of that unit of Local Government voting thereon. If the definition of the base of an existing tax is broadened, the maximum authorized rate of taxation on the new base in each unit of Local Government shall be reduced to yield the same estimated gross revenue as on the prior base. If the assessed valuation of property as finally equalized, excluding the value of new construction and improvements, increases by a larger percentage than the increase in the General Price Level from the previous year, the maximum authorized rate applied thereto in each unit of Local Government shall be reduced to yield the same gross
revenue from existing property, adjusted for changes in the General Price Level, as could have been collected at the existing authorized rate on the prior assessed value. The limitations of this section shall not apply to taxes imposed for the payment of principal and interest on bonds or other evidence of indebtedness or for the payment of assessments on contract obligations in anticipation of which bonds are issued which were authorized prior tothe effective date of this amendment.
History: Add. Init., approved Nov. 7, 1978, Eff. Dec. 23, 1978

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Debate Over the Export-Import Bank, Explained in 90 Seconds



I wanted to share this with you. As you probably know the Wayne County Taxpayers Association is one of the organizations which are composed of thousands of members, who have indicated that we want congress to let the Export - Import Bank authorization expire in June. If you have not contacted congress please do so.

**************

I wanted to give you an update on the fight to end the Export-Import Bank.
I don’t have to tell you that 87% of the Ex-Im’s loan guarantees went to Boeing, GE and Caterpillar, that it doesn’t create jobs, and that all GOP presidential candidates oppose the bank. You already know that.
What I do want to remind you is that we have a real chance to shut down this government agency.
Thanks to your grassroots pressure and our Capitol Hill team, momentum is growing and each week we add more and more names to the list of representatives who have publicly come out in opposition to the bank.
And I have great news. We now have 88 lawmakers on our list.
These lawmakers are taking a bold stand against corporate cronyism and we thank them for their efforts. Two lawmakers who came out publicly last week under extreme special interest pressure were Jody Hice and Brad Wenstrup.
Rep. Jody Hice’s Georgia district is home to a new Caterpillar factory. Rather than giving into cronyist culture, he publicly came out against the bank. Jody Hice is representing the best interest of his constituents, not the special interest lobbying groups in Washington.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup’s Ohio district is home to GE Aviation, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Export-Import Bank. He is proud of GE’s innovation and technology, but understands the company doesn’t need taxpayer subsidies to thrive. Brad Wenstrup took a strong stand for principle.
Thank you for engaging in this fight with us. We are optimistic the bank will NOT be reauthorized on June 30 and that it will be shut down forever.
Lets keep the pressure up as we finish the fight!
Sincerely,

Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America

Monday, April 06, 2015

Please Remember to Vote May 5

These are  the proposals that will be voted on in Wayne County. A no vote is particularly necessary for taxpayers for the State Proposal and those of Lincoln Park and City of Wayne.






Page 1 OFFICIAL LIST OF PROPOSALS 05/05/2015 MAY CONSOLIDATED WAYNE COUNTY

STATE PROPOSAL
PROPOSAL 15-1
A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase the sales/use tax from 6% to 7% to replace and supplement reduced revenue to the School Aid Fund and local units of government caused by the elimination of the sales/use tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles operating on public roads, and to give effect to laws that provide additional money for roads and other transportation purposes by increasing the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.
The proposed constitutional amendment would:
• Eliminate sales / use taxes on gasoline / diesel fuel for vehicles on public roads.

• Increase portion of use tax dedicated to School Aid Fund (SAF).

• Expand use of SAF to community colleges and career / technical education, and prohibit use for 4-year colleges / universities.

• Give effect to laws, including those that:

o Increase sales / use tax to 7%, as authorized by constitutional amendment.

o Increase gasoline / diesel fuel tax and adjust annually for inflation, increase vehicle registration fees, and dedicate revenue for roads and other transportation purposes.

o Expand competitive bidding and warranties for road projects.
o Increase earned income tax credit.

Should this proposal be adopted?


Page 2 OFFICIAL LIST OF PROPOSALS 05/05/2015 MAY CONSOLIDATED WAYNE COUNTY
CITY OF LINCOLN PARK PROPOSALS
CITY OF LINCOLN PARK POLICE OFFICERS AND FIRE FIGHTERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM PROPOSAL
Shall the City of Lincoln Park, County of Wayne, Michigan, be authorized to establish a retirement system for the benefit of police officers and fire fighters, create a pension board, and levy taxes annually in amounts sufficient to fund the system, all in accordance with the provisions of Michigan Public Act 345 of 1937, as amended? This proposal shall not become effective unless the electors also approve an amendment to Chapter XVII of the City Charter authorizing cessation of the existing pension system and transfer of its assets to the new Act 345 pension system.
PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENT SECTION 1 OF CHAPTER XVII OF THE CITY OF LINCOLN PARK
Shall Sec. 1 of Chapter XVII of the City Charter of the City of Lincoln Park be amended to provide for the transfer of all assets of the existing Policemen’s and Firemen’s Retirement system to a new retirement system established pursuant to Michigan Public Act 345 of 1937, as amended, the cessation of the existing retirement system, and dissolution of the existing retirement board? This amendment shall not become effective unless the electors also approve of the establishment of a new Act 345 pension system.



CITY OF WAYNE PROPOSALS
PROPOSAL NO. 1
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO SECTIONS 19.1 AND 19.3 OF CHAPTER 19 OF THE WAYNE CITY CHARTER
Shall Chapter 19 of the Charter of the City of Wayne be amended so that police officers and firefighters are excluded from the retirement system established by the City Charter, effective with the 2015-2016 fiscal year, and instead become members of a separate retirement system under 1937 PA 345, as amended, and that accumulated contributions to the current employee's retirement system made by or on behalf of such officers be transferred to the Act 345 retirement system? This charter amendment shall not be effective unless the electors approve the establishment of a separate retirement system under said Act 345.
PROPOSAL NO. 2
PROPOSAL TO ADOPT AN ACT 345 RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS
Shall the City of Wayne, Wayne County, Michigan, be authorized to establish a separate retirement system pursuant to Act 345 of 1937, as amended, for the benefit of police officers and firefighters employed by the City, create a board of trustees to manage and operate the system, and be authorized to levy a new tax annually in an amount sufficient to fund the system in an actuarially sound manner, but not to exceed 3.00 mills in any year on each dollar ($3.00 per $1,000) of the taxable value of all property in the City, for a period of 5 years, all contingent upon the approval by the electors of a City Charter amendment authorizing the transfer of police officer and firefighter members from the current employee's retirement system to the new system created under Act 345?
It is expected that approximately 3 mills will be levied in 2015 and will raise the sum of approximately
$1,068,000.00.



Page 3 OFFICIAL LIST OF PROPOSALS 05/05/2015 MAY CONSOLIDATED WAYNE COUNTY
GROSSE ILE TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS PROPOSALS
GROSSE ILE TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS
BOND PROPOSAL
Shall the Grosse Ile Township Schools, County of Wayne, Michigan, borrow the principal sum of not to exceed Seven Million Four Hundred Thirty-Five Thousand Dollars ($7,435,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds for the purpose of defraying the cost of:
· equipping, furnishing, reequipping and refurnishing School District buildings and acquiring buses;
· acquiring and installing technology infrastructure and equipment; and
· improving and developing sites, including playgrounds, structures and outdoor athletic facilities?

The estimated millage to be levied in 2015 to service this issue of bonds is 0.51 mills ($0.51 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds of this issue is 1.69 mills ($1.69 per $1,000 of taxable value). The debt millage levy is currently estimated to be 5.69 mills, or .2528 mill over the 2014 levy. The bonds shall be payable in not to exceed ten (10) years from the date of issue. The School District currently has $20,020,000 of qualified bonds outstanding and $0 of qualified loans outstanding under the State School Bond Qualification and Loan Program. The School District does not expect to borrow from the program to pay debt service on these bonds. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.
Under State law, bond proceeds may not be used to pay teacher, administrator or other employee salaries, routine maintenance costs or other School District operating expenses.



GROSSE ILE TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS
SINKING FUND REPLACEMENT PROPOSAL
This proposal would replace the existing operating millage authority of the Grosse Ile Township Schools approved by voters in 2010 and which would otherwise expire with the 2015 levy to levy a sinking fund millage.
As a replacement of existing authorization which would otherwise expire with the 2015 levy, shall the Grosse Ile Township Schools, County of Wayne, Michigan, be authorized to levy 0.75 mill ($0.75 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) to create a sinking fund for the purpose of the construction or repair of school buildings and the improvement and development of sites, including the replacement of interior doors and hardware, the replacement of lighting with energy efficient LED lighting, brick work repairs and any other purpose permitted by law, by increasing the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property in the School District for a period of five (5) years, being the years 2015 to 2019, inclusive? It is estimated that 0.75 mill ($0.75 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) would raise approximately $ 427,064 in the first year that it is levied.
(Under state law, sinking fund proceeds may not be used to pay teacher or administrator salaries.)



Page 4 OFFICIAL LIST OF PROPOSALS 05/05/2015 MAY CONSOLIDATED WAYNE COUNTY
NORTHVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROPOSAL
MILLAGE RENEWAL PROPOSAL
BUILDING AND SITE SINKING FUND TAX LEVY
Shall the currently authorized millage rate of .9978 mill ($.9978 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) which may be assessed against all property in Northville Public Schools, Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw Counties, Michigan, be renewed for a period of 5 years, 2016 to 2020, inclusive, to continue to provide for a sinking fund for the construction or repair of school buildings and all other purposes authorized by law; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2016 is approximately $2,588,047 (this is a renewal of millage which will expire with the 2015 tax levy)?



RIVERVIEW COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PROPOSALS
I. SCHOOL BONDING PROPOSAL

Shall Riverview Community School District, Wayne County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Nineteen Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars ($19,900,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of:
partially remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, equipping and re-equipping school facilities; erecting, furnishing and equipping additions to the high school, in part, for cafeteria, kitchen and office spaces; acquiring, installing and equipping instructional technology for school facilities; constructing and equipping a pre-school playground; and developing and improving sites?
The following is for informational purposes only:
The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2015, under current law, is 3.38 mills ($3.38 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a net increase of 2.80 mills. The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 5.28 mills ($5.28 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).
The school district expects to borrow from the State School Bond Qualification and Loan Program to pay debt service on these bonds. The estimated total principal amount of that borrowing is $1,665,921 and the estimated total interest to be paid thereon is $451,099. The estimated duration of the millage levy associated with that borrowing is 30 years and the estimated computed millage rate for such levy is 7.00 mills. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.
The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $5,605,000. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is approximately $-0-.
(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)



Page 5 OFFICIAL LIST OF PROPOSALS 05/05/2015 MAY CONSOLIDATED WAYNE COUNTY
RIVERVIEW COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PROPOSALS (cont’d)
II. SCHOOL BONDING PROPOSAL
Shall Riverview Community School District, Wayne County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Four Million Seven Hundred Thirty Thousand Dollars ($4,730,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of:
erecting, furnishing and equipping additions to and partially remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, equipping and re-equipping the middle school for swimming pool improvements; remodeling, furnishing and equipping the high school pool area into a new multi-purpose use; acquiring, installing and equipping technology for the middle school swimming pool; and developing and improving sites?
The following is for informational purposes only:
The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2015, under current law, is .79 mill ($0.79 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation). The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 1.18 mills ($1.18 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).
The school district does not expect to borrow from the State to pay debt service on the bonds. The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $5,605,000. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $-0-. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.
If both Proposal I and Proposal II pass, the school district expects to borrow from the State School Bond Qualification and Loan Program to pay debt service on these bonds. The estimated total principal amount of that borrowing is $2,600,482 and the estimated total interest to be paid thereon is $2,723,190. The estimated duration of the millage levy associated with that borrowing is 30 years and the estimated computed millage rate for such levy is 7.55 mills. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.
(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)



VAN BUREN PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROPOSAL
MILLAGEPROPOSAL
BUILDING AND SITE SINKING FUND TAX LEVY
Shall Van Buren Public Schools, Counties of Wayne and Washtenaw, State of Michigan, create a sinking fund for the purpose of construction or repair of school buildings and the improvement and development of sites and for any other purpose which may be authorized by law, and be authorized to levy not to exceed 1.13 mills ($1.13 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of seven (7) years, 2016 to 2022 inclusive? This levy would renew the sinking fund levy previously authorized by the voters in 2008 for an additional seven (7) years. It is estimated that the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in the 2016 calendar year shall be approximately

$1,715,961 from the local taxes authorized in this proposal. A portion of the revenue collected may be subject to capture by the Van Buren Township Downtown Development Authority.