Here is a copy of the letter that 14 elected officials in eight of Lucas County's 11 townships have signed. I think the letter says it all, especially this point:
We believe one questions must be asked by the Commissioners prior to putting any levy on the ballot, and each individual voter prior to casting their vote on a property tax levy: “Is this levy so important that someone should lose their home if they cannot afford to pay it?”
I think this also applies to city and school levies, too. Did Toledo City Council ask themselves this question before they decided they just had to have a brand new tax levy for recreation in the city?
You might not have your home, but you can have 'recreation' ... what a bargain!
Did Toledo Public School board members ask themselves this question before they decided they just had to have a brand new tax levy - on top of their multiple other levies - for a school system that has a budget carryover and health care savings that total a couple of million dollars MORE than the levy will give them in the next year?!?
As if more money will reverse their five-year trend of spending more than take in or help Pickett Elementary which has been in academic emergency for 12 years!
Here is the letter:
We, the undersigned Elected Officials in Lucas County do hereby state:
1) We believe our County Representatives are not acting like responsible leaders in placing numerous levies on the ballot.
2) We believe that the residents in our jurisdictions are becoming overburdened by the numerous “quality of life” levies that are already included in their property tax bills.
3) We believe that by placing these numerous “quality of life” levies on the ballot, the Lucas County Commissioners are jeopardizing our chances of getting any future levies passed for essential services such as Roads, Police, Fire and Schools.
4) We do not want to see our residents become financially burdened by their property taxes and potentially face losing their homes if they become unable to pay.
5) We believe that all of the levy requests that will be on the November Ballot are not “needs” for our community, but “wants” by these organizations.
6) We believe that it is irresponsible for our County Officials to allow the “wants” of these various organizations to become such a burden to the property owners of Lucas County that they can no longer afford to pay for the “needs”.
7) We believe one questions must be asked by the Commissioners prior to putting any levy on the ballot, and each individual voter prior to casting their vote on a property tax levy: “Is this levy so important that someone should lose their home if they cannot afford to pay it?”
As such, we are asking the voters not just in our jurisdictions, but in all of Lucas County to vote “NO” on every county wide levy request that is on the your ballot in November. We must take a stand to get the attention of our County Commissioners. We must make them realize that we want the process to get a property tax levy on the ballot in Lucas County to be extremely difficult, not just a rubber stamp.
And that new levy review committee which I fought when I was a commissioner has 'recommended' all these levies and others in the past. Do the commissioner have nothing to fear from constituents because they hide behind individuals unaccountable to the public to decide if a levy is 'worth it'? I think so.
We'll talk about this today when I fill in for Brian Wilson on 1370 WSPD from 3-6 p.m. Eastern.