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I am typically that person that doesn’t go to steps like writing a letter to my local newspaper but enough is enough. I recently attended a public meeting regarding the City entertaining the idea of contracting our police services to the Kent County Sherriff’s Department vs. maintaining a local police department.
I must admit that I agree with councilman Jerry Hall that it was a disappointing turnout, who I know is angered by the amount of tax dollars we pay, with barely over 30 residents attending.
In a July 13 Grand Rapids Press article it stated Walker has the lowest city tax in Kent, Ottawa Counties that was shared by a private citizen. It listed property tax based on a $150,000.00 house (summer tax bills).
Walker – $666.20
Kentwood – $786.50
Ferrysburg – $802.98
Zeeland – $835.16
Grandville – $838.50
Hudsonville – $842.27
Rockford – $883.50
Wyoming – $959.05
Coopersville – $1,057.30
Grand Haven – $1,077.00
East GR – $1,137.68
Cedar Springs – $1,224.10
Holland – $1,253.80
Lowell – $1,261.29
Grand Rapids – $1,436.39
*Walker and Grand Rapids levy property and income tax.
Something is seriously wrong with the City of Cedar Springs having these high taxes!
I have been a Cedar Springs resident for over 30 years. We have three teenage daughters and purchased a home in the city limits in 2013. I received my summer tax bill and almost needed our community rescue squad to come and save me. We purchased our home, which was built in 1969, for $99,900.00 and my summer tax bill exceeded $1,800.00.
The downtowns of Rockford, Grandville, East Grand Rapids compared to ours? We pay more taxes than those communities and my question remains, for what? Our roads are full of potholes, roads not plowed well in the winter, sidewalks are in terrible condition and overall our downtown looks shabby at best, especially considering the large amount of tax dollars that are pouring into city hall.
I attended a city council meeting a while back where Councilmember Patty Troost stated that there were over 80 foreclosures in the City of Cedar Springs. No kidding Patty, who can afford to live here?
Patty Troost also tried to calculate savings at the informational meeting, stating it was roughly only $5.35 savings per person. This was proven incorrect by the City Treasurer.
Kent County Sheriff and his team did a great presentation. The City can design the program as they see fit. Any savings to a town that is only 2 square miles and has a tax bill like ours, let me say emphatically, City Council it’s time to partner with the Sheriff’s department and save money!
Simple mathematics shows the potential savings by going with the Sherriff’s department is at a minimum $120,000.00. Over the next 10 years that is over $1 million dollars in savings!
So I ask again, where is the question?