Jun 16, 2009

Public pressure forces Board of Commissioners to do the right thing and support the troops

It’s amazing what a little public pressure and embarrassment can do, and the pressure of Livingston County veterans made the County Board of Commissioners do the right thing and approve a tax levy for one-twentieth of a mill to provide money for a fund for the relief of honorably discharged indigent members of the military and their families.

The measure was approved unanimously Monday night, despite the all-Republican board initially balking at doing the right thing and even trying to pass the buck to voters. Pressure from the daily newspaper and citizens moved the board to act. The Livingston County Veterans Committee had been seeking only half of what the law allowed the county to levy.

According to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, the tax will amount to about $7.50 a year for the owner of a $300,000 home – considerably less than the price of an average home in Livingston County that goes for around $200,000, and it should raise more than $400,000 for the fund annually.

However, the veterans will most likely not see an increase in funding, and long-time Commissioner Jack LaBelle said the millage will almost certainly mean the Veterans Affairs department will see its general fund allocation reduced, according to the paper.

That means the county’s general fund will actually see a tax increase. I’m also a little confused because the article says “Veterans Affairs officials would like to use some of the money to convert some of the office's part-time positions to full-time roles.”

I’m certainly not a lawyer, but my reading of the statute says the levy is supposed to create and supply money to a fund to be used for the emergency relief of indigent veterans in need. The statute says it is to be used “…for the purpose of creating a fund for the relief of honorably discharged indigent members.”

The definition of indigent is based on income, and according to the article, 65 percent of the county’s more than 13,000 veterans fall into that category.

My understanding of the state law allowing the levy, is that it is to used for a dedicated fund for grants to veterans and their families in need; not for office furniture or the funding of positions and not to reduce the county’s duty and obligations to fund the county's Veterans Affairs office so they can use the money for the general fund. Now, it may be that the law allows for things that directly benefit veterans like counselors, but it doesn’t seem like that from the law.

12 comments:

kevins said...

Are you sure you got this right. The paper said it was only 1/20th of a mill and that, as you say, is what the vets were asking for.

Your example of $7.50 tax on a $300,000 home works for 1/20th of a mill. For 1/10th of a mill, that tax would be $15.

I'm not trying to criticize you, so don't go on one of your name-calling tirades. I'm just trying to find out if you or the paper has the right information.

Communications guru said...

First, I have never gone on a “name-calling tirade," brett. ” I would never even think of falsely calling someone a child molester like you do, especially anonymously like you do.

Second, you are correct. I was sure that when I read it this morning it said 1/10 if a mill. I either read it wrong, or they changed it online.

bluzie said...

So glad Livingston County is supporting their veterans!

kevins said...

Even when you admit you make a mistake, you can't admit it fully. So you think they changed it online? Did they also pull back all of their newspapers and reprint them? Because the exact same story in the paper says one-twentieth in the lead.

Here is another quick example of guru's idea of truth and accuracy:

Guru (this morning): "what a cowardly scumbag you really are."

Guru (this morning): "what some anonymous coward like you..."

Guru (also this morning): "I have never gone on a name-calling tirade."

By the way, on the odd chance a newcomer is on the site, I have never, ever called guru a child molester. I have challenged him repeatedly to support this claim, and he never has...because he can't.

But he keeps bringing up the claim. It's almost as though he gets some sort of thrill out of the idea of being called a child molester. If true, that would be creepy.

Communications guru said...

You are simply a liar, brett. You are correct, brett, and this is an example of my truth and accuracy because they are all true. No, I get no thrill out of being smeared by a cowardly scumbag like you, but I am not going to let you get away with this lie time after time.

kevins said...

The way guru "proves" that he doesn't get into name-calling is to call someone a "cowardly scumbag."

Priceless.

By the way, guru tried to make the vets tax issue a partisan thing by referring to the all-Republican county board. Wonder what he thinks about the corruption rotting away in Detroit among the all-Democratic elected government there.

Oh, that's right, guru says there is no corruption in Detroit. I suspect Conyers and the Kilpatricks are happy to hear that.

These people have sold out their city and you don't hear a word about it from guru. Why? Because they are Democrats. He would rather swear off porn than criticize a Democrat.

Communications guru said...

Calling you a cowardly scumbag is not name-calling brett; it simply describes your actions. I call a person who smears someone with a false, disgusting accusation like you did to me and then hides behind a false name is a cowardly scumbag. My name is on my blog and my address is in the phone book. If I ever made a disgusting charge like that I would not hide behind anonymity like you.

The vets issue is partisan. The former mayor of Detroit was prosecuted for his crime, and if there is a corruption on the city council they will be prosecuted. To make a blanket statement like you did that the Detroit is corrupt is simply not true. I guess I could say the Livingston County Board of Commissioners is corrupt because a former Republican Commissioner is facing charges of emblazonment from the Livingston County Fowlerville Fair, but that is simply not fair or true.

“Smear off porn?” You are a cowardly scumbag. If you want to criticize Democrats, do it on your blog, brett. I certainly don’t have to make up anything to criticize Republicans, and there never is a shortage of material.

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy said...

I believe that since "relief" is not defined under the law, the county commission can define "relief" to include not only direct aid, but some counseling positions that help veterans get aidl Mere administration and overhead can't be included, according to the vets I have talked to.

Communications guru said...

I’m sure you’re right, but it seems a bit of a stretch to use it for that. Clearly, those kinds of services should be a function of local government funded from the general fund.

kevins said...

I stand corrected. Apparently I was wrong when I said that guru would swear off porn.

Is ka dargo a cowardly scum bag? He attacks people and I don't see his name out there. Again, I have never called you a child molester. I have asked you to substantiate that claim. You can't and you won't. You delight in it so much, it does make me wonder.

Talk about an amazing spin. The fair guy facing charges was on the county board -- what? -- 30 years ago or more. Hardly comparable to a Detroit city government with a well-established pay-to-play environment in which the FBI is investigating more than half the council on bribery allegations. (By the way, I don't think their corruption has a thing to do with the Democratic party. They just happen to be Democrats. I just use that example to show how superficial you are when you refer to the all-Republican county board as against the troops.)

But you do make up things to criticize the Republicans. You lied when you said the county republican party broke the law by illegally financing a campaign against a school millage. It was a lie; you know it was a lie. You keep repeating it, though, and you likely will again.

So how do you "smear off" porn anyway? You seem to be the expert on the matter.

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