Many Grosse Pointe residents will be shocked to see their 2003 tax bills increased by several thousand dollars. Do not blame the politicians. We did it to ourselves by low voter turnout in elections on millage proposals and special interest groups capitalizing on voter apathy.
The Wayne County Community College "Stealth Millage" passed in November, 2001 due to low voter turnout in the suburbs. The SMART Tax, RESA Tax, and the Wayne County Juvenile Jail Tax passed on Aug. 6 with only 20 to 40 percent of the vote. (See the excellent Aug. 15 Grosse Pointe News article, "Headliners courtesy of WCCCD" on the cost to taxpayers.)
The Grosse Pointe School Board will hold a special election on Sept. 24 for a "Cadillac Millage" of $62 million to improve the art education programs. Any special election held between an August primary and a November general election is guaranteed to have a low voter turnout.
There are three proposals on the Nov. 5 ballot that will create severe state budget problems if they all pass.
If all of these ballot proposals are legitimate, make them earn your approval on their merit. Do not let them pass because you failed to vote.
Voting is a great privilege. Exercise your privilege at the polls or via absentee ballot on Sept. 24 and Nov. 5. Every vote counts, and your tax bill will prove it.