Road millage is not unfair


I am writing in response to Mr. Greg Tolman Sr.’s letter published Feb. 24, 2018, in which he expressed his view that a recent millage proposal by the city council was unfair to property owners.

While I sympathize with his difficult financial situation, I disagree with his conclusions, and I most especially disagree with his assertion that millages allow “renters, low income, and Section 8 people (to) get off without a worry.” Ideally, taxes should be progressive, meaning that wealthier people pay a higher percentage that poorer people. Implying that poor people should shoulder the tax burden is both nonsensical and immoral; it would mean our city could generate practically no tax revenues.

As for immorality, any Holy Book you care to name contains passages such as, “whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31). If a person finds it a burden to pay taxes on their property, let that give them empathy and solidarity with the poor who face similar burdens. They, too, are on “extremely limited and miniscule incomes.”

I want to live in a city with good roads, human jails,and excellent schools, and if I have to pay more taxes on my small business to have these things, I will gladly pay it. And it is not like the council had much of a choice, people would view a city income tax or sales tax even less favorable than a millage.

Jesse Traub