TEA Party Activism - Write your County/City: "Where's the Money?"
"A few months ago Moody's downgraded all Municipal Bonds citing Overspending and a hollowing out of the revenue core. (Click here) At the same time, my property taxes have increased 800-1000 dollars over the past 5 years while the value of my property has decreased.
It was suggested to me by a public servant that the run away cost are due in part, to rapidly increasing payroll and related benefits package expenses increases. With that, i wrote a letter to my Country Board Member and the County Auditor. At first they seemed to cooperate stated they needed time to compile the numbers.
For the Past week they have not returned my once per day phone calls. Apparently they have something to hide. Given the Downgrade by Moody's, it appears to me that they have brought local government to the brink of bankruptcy. It appears that this financial decline is related, at least in part, to our elected officials runaway spending on payroll and benefits packages.
I have attached my last to emails (in reverse chronological order) so that you might have an idea of the questions that I asked them. You can find the specific information I requested and learn about the stalling I have encountered within these emails.
It would appear that our taxes are being raised in large part to pay increased salaries and benefits package expenses. I would suggest that an easy course of action to let your elected officials know you are paying attention and are sick and tired of increasing property taxes is to write them a letter or send them and email. (If you live in Wright County MN, all of your Country Board Members email addresses can be found in the attached email thread)
I am providing a generic template of a letter for you to send your Country Board and/or City Hall representatives is attached at the end of this article.
Remember to keep asking yourself.... "If not me, who? If not Now, When?"
Please take the time to write your elected city and county officials.
The Cynical Patriot
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: Rose.Thelen@co.wright.mn.us; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Sent: Tue, Jul 7, 2009 1:08 pm
Subject: Fwd: Request for Information sent 2 weeks ago.
Hello County Auditor Hiivala and County Board Member Sawatzke
I wrote to both of you 2 weeks ago requesting the information per the attached copy of the previous email I sent you. Apparently, Wright County has something to hide. Mr Sawatzke has yet to contact me and Mr. Hiivala has not returned my calls for a week or more.
The rapid rise in my property taxes,...."
Source : Examiner.com
Please click on the source to read the rest of the article.
Please write your own county and/or city and ask them, "Where's the Money"
I have provided a template of a letter/email for you below.
You have the right to know.
The Cynical Patriot
Cut and paste the below template into your word processor or your email program ---------------
Date (if letter)
Email address or address
Your Email address or address
Subject: Request for Information
My property taxes, and the property taxes of other residents, have increased greatly in the past 3 - 5 years.
I cannot afford these increased taxes, especially at a time when property values are declining.
Please quantify how much my taxes have went up on my property for the last 3 to five years respectively.
Please identify how much my taxes will go up next year.
With that in mind, I am thinking we need to start making cuts, to reduce my property
tax load and the tax load of other property owners by similar amounts. Please
provide me with the following information.
A list of all personnel that work for our County[city], including Title, job duties, payroll, and benefits packages for the past 5 years formatted from highest to lowest salary/benefit package. (delete all private information)
Please provide in that list a calculation for each position of compensation and benefits package divided by the number of:
1) residents of our County[city];
2) Taxable Parcels in our County[city]; 3) Taxable acres in our County[city];
Then, at the bottom of each year, a aggregate total of payroll and compensation package divided by:
1) residents of our County[city],
2) Taxable Parcels in County[city],
3) Taxable acres in our County[city].
Please then also provide what the comparable position in the private sector would pay.
Please provide a list of things we could cut to save 10% in the next year and 10% in
the following year, reflecting the severe down turn in the economy.
Thank you for your time.
Resident, Taxpayer and Voter