Letters to the Editor: Readers weigh in on McMillan tax levy
I am a Town of McMillan resident and retired employee of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
This letter is in regards to a past Town of McMillan electors meeting on Nov. 13 and an upcoming electors meeting Dec. 7. The Dec. 7 meeting was forced by the McMillan Town board because the majority on the board didn’t like the electors’ decision to check the board’s spending and put an end their slush fund. The board was provided legal counsel by their Wausau attorney within two hours of the vote on Nov. 13 on how to circumvent the vote of a substantial majority of the electors at the meeting. Questionable acts? Ethical?
So now some elitists residing in the Southwest area of the Township are looking and acting the same as the liberal elitists did when the 2016 presidential election vote didn’t go their way. By looking at the emails floating around this mob has a board member’s wife as lead, her husband involved, with a few other minions following. This mob is spreading falsehoods about the consequences of the vote and verbally attacking anybody that doesn’t agree with their tax and spend ideals. This is fact. There are hardcopy email documents floating around and evidence of the same on Facebook of the comments and actions of these folks. Check it out if you want to connect a name to the vile actions of this crowd.
Those of us that are retired, live on a fixed income, and have to live within a budget, would like to be able to live in our homes for a while yet. So would the average working person and farmer. And we would like the Town of McMillan to also live within a reasonable budget. But because of our vote the board member’s wife and her minions, via emails, call us irrational & senseless for wanting to stay in our homes for a bit and afford basic living necessities and medications. And this remark only adds insult to her husband’s previous remarks considering the average working person a lowly “day laborer”. And the board member’s wife, in an email states: “It is necessary to remove the voting power of those residents (aka irrational/senseless people by her view) that don’t agree with their tax and spend agenda”. The arrogance and condescending nature of this mob is stunning.
Now let’s get down to business and answer a few of the “scare tactic” bullet points these elitists are falsely telling the public.
1. This vote was on the tax levy, not the budget! The Town’s actual total budget is approximately one million dollars (that’s $1,000,000.00). This is because a substantial amount of state aid is being received by the Town (such as GTA “general transportation aids”, fire department operation and other services aids/grants) to supplement this tax levy. These funding aids are to assure there is money to provide snow plowing and road maintenance. The Township cannot cut service while receiving these aids. This cut idea was just a bogus threat by Chairperson Carolyn Opitz at the Nov. 13 meeting to sway votes. And the bullcrap is now being carried on by the elitist mob.
2. There is no shortage of money to fund the Township obligations with the approved $500,000 levy. There will just be a shortage in the Township “slush fund”.
3. There is no “property value” at risk as stated by the board member’s wife in her fancy email. This is just another shovelful of crap being thrown at the wall to see if it sticks.
Most residents just pay their property tax bills and hope the government is honest and frugal with their money. I question both with the current McMillan regime. McMillan electors, no matter which way you want to vote, you need to take the time to come to the Dec. 7 electors meeting at 6 p.m. I can assure this is going to be one full of questions, facts, and figures. No non answer spin from the board or their “hired gun” attorney is going to be acceptable at the meeting. And from now to the meeting think about a few of these facts:
1. Does the Town of McMillan really need a surplus of over $114,000 in their budget to squander as they wish in the future? This is what some of the board members and the elitist mob is fighting for.
2. Do you personally get to make major purchases outside of your own budget and figure out where the money is coming from weeks later? And after what you purchased has been delivered and not paid for? Do you purchase high dollar items without competitive bids or at least a price check at different vendors/dealers? I can tell you the Town of McMillan board is doing this and doesn’t worry about it. Just take the time to check Town records and see these facts for yourself.
3. Do you think the Town of McMillan Board needs to have a CYA attorney sitting in on almost all of the board meetings to provide instant legal counsel? To the tune of about $30,000 at this point and counting up in taxpayer expense this year. I didn’t realize the Town electors had approved a 6th person to sit on the board. And it seems to me this amount of money would have been more beneficial to the taxpayer residents going towards snow plowing, maintaining roads, and other services.
4. If you have friends in neighboring Townships or just want to go online into public records check out neighboring Township levies and spending practices. Maybe check out Richfield? You will be amazed on how differently things are operated in other Townships. There’s actually some common sense practiced.
What McMillan has is big city ideas in a small rural community that can’t afford to pay for the big ideas. So again, please show up at the Dec. 7 electors meeting to get informed and make your vote count. Do you really want the elitists, who probably paid more for their latest SUV then you paid for your home or farm years ago, and couldn’t care less how their tax and spend agenda impacts your finances and ability survive, to make the Town’s spending decision for you because you don’t want to take a couple of hours of your time to get informed and let your voice be heard? I hope not!
The budget meeting where taxpayers have the opportunity to approve the proposed tax levy presented by the Town was held on Nov. 13. At the meeting the Town Chair and Clerk presented a tax levy of $665,815. The proposed levy includes an increase from last year of $37,231.
Budget numbers previously presented by the Board and the Clerk include a surplus of funds totaling approximately $114,276 as well as unanticipated funds to be received next year from transportation funding of approximately $42,000.
If my calculations are correct, the additional funds requested of the taxpayers are not needed to support the budget expenditures presented considering the surplus funds and revenue projections. With this in mind, I made a motion to reduce the tax levy to $500,000. The meeting was attended by 90 town residents and the vote to reduce the levy passed by ballot count of 51 in favor of reduction and 39 opposed.
Following the meeting, town counsel advised the town board that another special meeting of the town electors (aka budget meeting) could be called by the board to reconsider this vote of the taxpayers if the board felt that politics change. Two days after the vote, the Town Board decided to hold another elector meeting to reconsider the decision of the taxpayers and to present the same proposed tax levy.
The mill rate of the proposed tax levy presented by the Town is $3.28 per $1,000. Using the same numbers presented, the mill rate of the tax levy approved by the people is $2.46 per $1,000.
You do the math! The town wants you to pay for their big city ideas in our small rural community.
The meeting is scheduled for Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. I strongly urge each and every resident concerned with spending, surplus funds and an increase to your taxes to attend this meeting. This is your opportunity to vote on your local tax levy and tell the Town of McMillan the people have spoken!
Also, keep in mind, the rumors being spewed about roads not being plowed and fire protection not being available are just that rumors. The Town is required by the state to make sure these services are maintained.
P.S. If you’re interested in reviewing any of these important town meetings, there is an informative website you might consider visiting, www.mcmillannews.com