This info request is about civics, the way your Citeh funds itself. Most municipalities work off of a tax base that is tied to property value, which is not the actual, immediate value of the real estate. The only reason that Citehs are not the worst of the gummint vote-buyers is that the millage rate limits their expenditure of public money, so they have to budget. Make that USED to have to budget.
Enter the monthly fee, in my Citeh (Gresham, OR), labeled "a fee to prevent more cuts" (cute name, innit?) Our City Council is trying to impose a fee, outside of the tax base, on every household and every business, of $7.50 per month.That's not a lot, but my basic research tell me that once these fees are introduced, they are usually raised, sometimes obscenely. In my case, I have to pay twice, because I run a small business here.
Back to the millage rate. The process of raising the millage rate involves the consent of the residents via an election. The process of sticking a new fee up our hoo-hoos does not, unless an ad-hoc committee arises to collect signatures and put the fee on the ballot in a special election (that could happen). Note that in Gresham's case, the City Council will put a new tax base on the ballot in 2014, and using the bludgeon of the new fee, will tell us to pass the new tax base or the fee will be continued, and likely, raised.
This is pure blackmail. As far as I know, the Gresham City Council members don't belong to the Mafia, but they are sure acting like they learned their civics at Mafia University.
Any Dear Readers who have information that might enliven my testimony before the Citeh Council next Tuesday, please leave it in comments.