Saturday, March 26, 2011

What am I Missing?

I was in East Lansing yesterday at the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association Spring Seminar.  I was speaking after lunch and a keynote by Tim Skubick, a hard act to follow for me.  But I also wanted to be there for the first presentation in the morning with State Treasurer Andy Dillon as speaker.  And let's face it, I was curious to hear what everyone else was saying about the budget proposals in Michigan.

I sat there during the day hearing the statement that I had already seen in the press:  How is it fair to have two households earning the same income when the retired senior does not have to pay income tax and the family of four does?

I will refrain from telling you what my business law teacher kept telling my class about 'fair'.  I will ask you why this has so many people upset when we have had unequal property taxation in Michigan since the passage of Proposal A. 

I have lived in my house since 1972.  Many of my neighbors purchased their homes after Prop A and saw their property values uncapped as a result.  Their property taxes were much higher than mine up until the decline that began in 2007.  How has that been fair?  Well, not fair, but it was, and is, the law of the state.

Do they receive more services for their money?  I think not.  And most of them are empty-nesters, so they do not receive the benefits of local education.  We just get to pay the taxes.

The state expenditures are weighted heavily for Medicaid and corrections.  I don't know anyone taking advantage of these programs.  I think that prisoners are a bigger drain on our limited dollars in the state than retired seniors.  I need to pay taxes to provide them with the internet? 

I have never tried any illegal drug.  I am thinking that if I had, my thinking might be as screwed up as some of these other folks and then they might make sense to me.  I know I am missing something very logical here.  I just can't figure out what it is.

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