I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty tired of the expression, 'but it's only...' followed by a dollar figure. And it seems to be used primarily for unnecessary expenditures.
Parents probably hear this a lot - I know it was a phrase I used myself when young. But every time I used such a phrase, I got an economics lesson about how those 'it's only's' added up.
COSI Toledo, our local hands-on children's science museum, has requested a second attempt at passing a levy. Their attempt last year, approved by the Board of County Commissioners by a 2-1 vote (guess who voted 'no') to be on the ballot, did not pass. As our local paper put it, it was only a 1,200 vote margin.
COSI board members had said they would have to close without the levy...but they didn't. They found some generous sponsors (as they should have done prior to the levy) which allowed them to stay open until they could put another levy on the ballot. It is expected that the vote by the BCC today will be 'yes' and they will have .17 mill levy on the ballot in November.
But, you say, it's only .17 Mill...that's only $5 per year for a $100,000 home. Yes, it's only...
However, I remember when, in 2003, the Commissioners were faced with an issue of either tapping into the general fund to support the operations of the Dog Warden (it's supposed to be a self-sustaining operation) or raising the license fees by $5. Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak was very concerned that seniors, who rely upon dogs and other pets for companionship, would have to choose between the license and their prescription medicines. Her comment, for the press release announcing the increase was:
“I am concerned that this fee increase represents an additional financial burden on senior citizens already facing increased healthcare, prescription, and other costs,” said Lucas County Commissioner Wozniak.
With this as her reason, she voted 'no' on increasing the fee.
Please understand...I have no problem with her position on this. I disagree with it, but can understand her concern - if - and this is a big IF - she is consistent with her position and votes against other such increases that represent an 'additional financial burden on senior citizens.' Besides, costs today are even higher than they were four years ago, so her logic is even more applicable. If she's truly concerned about our senior citizens, she'd vote 'no' to put COSI on the ballot.
We'll see...especially since "it's only"...
NOTE: please check back tomorrow as I'll be discussing all the county-wide levies and their financial impact.