Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Shame on voters in Troy, Michigan.
Allow me one rant--first in a long time-- although I promised myself to resist political posting. I just need to get this off my chest. I reserve the right to remove this post should I need to.
The city of Troy, Michigan will close its library, nature center, community center and museum and lay off 47 police officers after voters rejected a tax hike yesterday. This is not an isolated case, of course. Not even in southeastern Michigan.
Shame on the people who led this anti-tax charge. Don't they understand with property values falling, local governments have to raise money somehow? Institutions like those cut in Troy are important to society. We are already stripping the schools of every enhancement activity. And now comes community institutions. Soon those who can afford it will send their children to private schools in greater numbers and our great public school system will be just for the poor and be treated as such. Anti-tax people have wreaked havoc with Michigan over the last thirty years but see themselves as heroic somehow. Our property taxes fell by about $600 this year. I'd much rather pay that $600 than lose a library or park or cops. If someone is unemployed, of course, their situation is different and possibly they need exemptions.
I'd like to believe that a single altruistic or public-minded or progressive intention was involved in the tax revolt in Troy, but I can only see these people as selfish, irresponsible, arrogant and short-sighted. Who will want to live in Troy, Michigan without a library or enough cops? So the housing values in Troy will drop further--their children will suffer for it.
Troy used to be a progressive city. People in Troy, Michigan are not poor by any stretch of the imagination. They can support these institutions by paying what they've been paying in taxes. But they won't. A city without a library is a pretty arid place. Troy is home to 81,000 people--who have no cultural life now--unless they go to some other city who values such things. Troy, the very name Troy connotes culture. But not in Michigan, I guess.