Traverse City Record-Eagle

September 19, 2012

Letters to the Editor: 09/19/2012


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Assuming roles

Romney and Ryan have already assumed their leadership roles. In July, Romney traveled to Israel, Poland and England to confer with their leaders; Obama has yet to visit Israel, revoked the Polish missile defense and promised Putin "more flexibility" after re-election.

Romney made his first post-Convention task a visit to the hurricane region; Obama campaigned first then visited a week later. Biden foments fear with "they're gonna put ya all back in chains." Ryan proposed plans that preserve Medicare and Social Security, cut spending, reform taxes; the Democrat Senate hasn't passed a budget in 1,230 days.

Is Revelation 13:5 relevant?

Diana Zapalski

Traverse City

Assessment burden

Grand Traverse County wants to "fine" septic tank owners with a special assessment to cover plant losses that we have nothing to do with. I refer everyone to Michigan law regarding special assessments. A special assessment is not a tax. It's a specific levy designed to recover costs of improvements that confer local and peculiar benefits upon property with a defined area. Are we getting any sort of special improvement by paying for a building/service that already exists? No. They aren't making road improvements or putting in a park. I also haven't seen any public notices or hearings that are required.

I pay taxes for the services of the Bay Area Transportation Authority, the Senior Center and Northwestern Michigan College and don't use any of these places. If the county wants to come up with money to cover the losses from the plant, they can do it the right way, and they can get the "tax" money from the entire county.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1986 (and later affirmed again) that the only justification for a special assessment levy is an increase in a property market's value. The burden is on the county to prove this.

Jennifer Isbell

Traverse City