To the Editor:
Watch out! Another potential permanent property tax increase will be on the ballot for DeKalb County on April 4, for county voters to chime in on.
If approved, the tax would permanently add on 1.22740 percent to your property tax, every year, for a total tax windfall to the county of $22 million. The new permanent tax is earmarked to fund optional health services. This tax was promoted by the county’s Health and Human Services Committee, under Chairwoman Misty Haji-Sheikh.
Last summer and fall, the committee schemed to brand this tax to the public as a replacement of a temporary tax that expired to try to pull a fast one over the public. However, the county’s lawyers advised that they could not do this, so the tax must be put forth for what it is, a new ‘permanent’ property tax.
In discussions, the health committee can be heard mocking the taxpayers when they discussed ways of "convincing" the public to buy into the increase with phrases like “trust us.” Board members can be heard laughing out loud after one board member could be heard saying at the June 6 meeting that the county should send out postcards to senior citizens that say "vote for this or die!" Really? This is no laughing matter.
The committee also schemed and delayed putting this on the ballot from November 2016 to April 2017 because fewer people would vote on it. On June 6 County Board Chairman Mark Pietrowski can be heard stating that there will be fewer voters to reach out to.
So, are they trying to pull a fast one on the voters? Yes, they are.
Grants were obtained and used to pay for these optional services in the past, however, the county health department has been lax in obtaining new grants for funding for these health services, so they are turning to the taxpayer. Again, it is important to note that the services the proposition will fund, are not mandated services.
The tax increase will be the last item on the ballot. I urge you to vote NO on the permanent health tax April 4.