Tax Levies and Lunch Money

I’m hearing a lot of buzz about tax levies. And though the people at the auditor’s office have not gotten back to me in my recent inquiry, it doesn’t prevent me from doing my own research.

How are levies like lunch money?

The way I understand it, it’s like when my son comes and says I need more money on my lunch account. I have two choices. 1) I just give him more money, and let him buy what he wants because he’s my son and I love him and I would never want him to go hungry. ?

Or 2) I can ask the question, did you spend all the money I gave you? I look at the facts… I pack his lunch (so he really doesn’t need the money, he just likes buying snacks). Lunches are free right now (for everyone because of the pandemic). And I say, sorry, wait until next month and you can have more to spend on your snacks.

Keeping it Simple, it’s just a budget

I realize this is really basic, but taxes can be confusing. I’ve read through the excel files I was sent from the auditor, and the meeting minutes from our trustees (Dec. 10, 2019), when the last tax levy was approved by our trustees to go to be added to the ballot for March 2020 vote). Here are my conclusions:

  1. Our trustees approved an increase in the fire levy to go to the ballot in March of 2020

The articles in the repository stated this about the levy: “Trustees will seek a 7.5-mill replacement levy to cover the costs of fire department operations and capital purchases. The current 7.5-mill levy generates nearly $10.2 million per year. A new 7.5-mill levy would generate nearly $12.4 million per year. Increased property values allow the levy to generate more revenue.”

Resource here : Canton Repository article

Analyze if the Levy is Needed

Did the fire department really need it? Probably. I don’t know, I wasn’t in the executive session when they pleaded their case, or privy to discussions they had prior regarding the example I share above. The meeting minutes indicate the fire chief listed everything from maintenance costs to underwater rescue equipment as the rationale.

And to go back to my son’s request for more money… I love him, whether I give him the money for snacks or not. I feel like the incumbents are spinning the tax issue in this campaign to prove that anyone voted in couldn’t “love” our fire, police, parks or schools as much as they have. And that’s just not true.

As inflation and home prices increase, residents will want to tighten the budgets to avoid increased taxes. It’s just a fact of life we will be facing in the 2022 and beyond elections. I’ll do my best to present everyone with the facts involved when the time comes to approve another levy. Amy