Give everyone the option

October 24, 2014

Ray Augenstein

Ray Augenstein

I saw a letter to the editor in the paper a couple of weeks ago that got me to thinking about something. The letter dealt with the fact that a large portion of property owners were paying a larger tax on property that wasn’t their principle residence. They live and work downstate and used the property as their vacation homes. The question that came up and cause me to think was why did they have to pay more taxes than the homesteaders and not have something to say about what goes on in the township where they pay those taxes.

Consider, the people who live in the township have the authority (If they vote, which many don’t) to make the decision for all the property owners. Whether it is for erecting a new township hall, changing laws, electing officials, or the millage on their property. I can understand if someone has their principal residence in the township and also having rental property as a source of additional income. But they will have the privilege of voting and adding their voice to what is going on in the township.

Now I know what it is to have property in a different location than my principal residence, however my son lives in the township and gets to voice my opinion as long as we are in agreement. However people who live in a different location, have no voice in what goes on concerning their property, their taxes, and their representatives.

As the writer stated this is Taxation without representation. Certainly we have a supervisor, a county commissioner, and other elected officials, but the property owner did not have a voice in who was elected or how much their taxes should be.

I offer this solution. How about passing a law or an ordinance, that would allow anyone who owned property in a certain township other than where their principal residence is located, the right to Vote in the elections in that township only. The main voting for other than township or county issues, to be in the location of their principal residence. This would give them the privilege of having a say in the taxing, the erection of new structures for the township and the election of officials.

Even though this would answer the question of having a say in what goes on, sadly even with this privilege most of them would not take time to search out the issues, or to vote on them. I think it’s a tragedy that people who have the right and the power to change things, do not do so. This upcoming election will not be decided by the votes but by those who do not vote. Then they still have the right and freedom to gripe and complain about who is elected into Office.


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