Raisin Township moves forward with new road tax

Raisin Township Board of Trustees moved forward with the intent to create a special assessment district at the Monday, Aug. 11, meeting in the face of community opposition. The five-year, $95-per-parcel agreement was even a point of contention amongst the board. Township residents Thomas VanSickle and Jim Manley both voiced opposition to the special assessment during public comment.“This assessment discriminates against the lower income people in this township,” VanSickle said. “Residents who are living in smaller homes are being forced to subsidize residents that can afford to live in much more elaborate homes. If this board adopts this recommendation, you are choosing to follow the path of least resistance. “Please give the taxpayers of Raisin Township the respect they deserve by requesting a millage instead of demanding it. I would rather be asked instead of told that I will be paying more taxes.”Manley supported many of VanSickle’s points adding, “I think it is important to allow the people who live in the township to decide how much of their money they want to pay in taxes to receive the services they expect. I agree with Tom [VanSickle], I think this form of taxation, not to be cliché, is really without representation.”Trustee Debra Brousseau brought up getting a millage on the ballot before the Tuesday, Aug. 12, deadline.“I, personally, would rather see it go to the voters. I’ve always felt that way. I think it’s their money, their choice,” Brousseau said. “Is that option still on the tale to take it to voters by tomorrow?”“Deb, the ability to do that is highly unlikely,” said Raisin Township Supervisor Jay Cavanaugh. “We would be also going against the hard work of the road committee that we all unanimously, at the last regular meeting, said that we’d endorsed their recommendations. So, I would use the word sloppy if we were to do that.” “If it gets beat back, it gets beat back. And I don’t think, personally, I don’t want to wait another year to satisfy all those people that said, ‘Fix our roads,’” said Trustee Larry Crittenden.With the board deciding to pursue the resolution to show intent on creating the special assessment district, discussion moved toward the fee each parcel would pay and for how long. At the July 14 regular meeting, the road committee recommended to the board a $120-per-parcel, five-year special assessment along with the creation of a $100,000 line item in the budgets dedicated to road repairs. “I’m not sure I’d go with $120,” said Township Clerk Betty Holdridge. “I think under a hundred, it’s a good sell.”“I’d like to see it at $95 for five years,” said Brousseau.Cavanaugh suggested following the road committee’s recommendation, but the board voted for $95 for five years. There will be a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Raisin Township Community Center. Final approval for the special assessment will be held at the Monday, Sept. 8, regular meeting. The board took no action on creating a dedicated line item for roads, which is being worked on by the budget committee for 2015.

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