To begin with, let me make it clear that I am an avid user and supporter of bike paths. It is one of the few things local governments build that can be justified by the actual use it receives and benefit it provides. That being said, I will vote no on August 5th for two reasons.
First, I believe the Village of Spring Lake can’t afford a tax increase. Paying both township and village taxes takes its toll on businesses and on residents with fixed incomes. The school has already received a millage increase, the county will request one for road improvements, and the township will need to build the new fire station they believe we need. Property values are on the rise again and that means more taxes. Even though we could use extra dollars to maintain bike paths and sidewalks, we can’t afford them at this time.
Secondly, I believe the tax is unfair to residents of the Village of Spring Lake. The township will collect the tax and give 75% back to the village, keeping 25% for township projects. I realize this is more generous than in the past, but why not 100%. It is expensive to run a village and maintain a walking community with adequate sidewalks and bike paths. We need all the help we can get and we certainly can’t afford to subsidize the township’s bike path projects. It makes no sense for village residents to vote yes on this millage. We would be better off passing a village millage increase which would allocate 100% of the dollars to village projects.
With all due respect to township residents and officials, I will vote no on this millage and encourage others to do the same. A fair tax system is essential to developing a good working relationship between the village and the township.
Spring Lake Village Council Member