To the editor:
In May, the Mining Gazette ran a letter of mine about my problems with Proposal A, the state property tax law, and what I feel are inappropriate actions by a Baraga County tax assessor and the county's Board of Tax Review in carrying out the law. I also detailed ramifications with the law both in Baraga County and statewide.
Following the letter's publication, I mailed it to every Michigan state senator and to Representative Scott Dianda, asking their help in correcting the injustices of the law. It's been an interesting civics lesson.
As I expected, I received a fair number of form letters from senators' offices thanking me for submitting my letter. Of the 38 senators, I received just two responses that I would call more than pro forma. One was a note saying my letter would be forwarded to Senator Tom Casperson in my district.
The other letter was a personal note from Senator Goeff Hansen, who represents the Oceana County area in the western lower peninsula. Senator Hansen thanked me for the letter, said he too would forward it to Senator Casperson, and noted that he would use it as a reference in his talking points about Proposal A.
In turn, I sent Senator Hansen a much longer letter detailing my difficulties with Proposal A along with other problems I believe to be inherent in the law.
With that, a staffer from Senator Hansen's office called me, during which time we had a fairly lengthy chat about the tax law. The staffer told me that I was not alone in expressing problems with the law and that he would pass along my comments to Senator Hansen. He also said he would forward my second letter to Senator Casperson.
Surprisingly, I have yet to hear from my representatives, Senator Casperson and Representative Dianda. I've received wonderful service from Senator Hansen and his staff, but I'm not his constituent.
Technically, I'm also not a constituent of either Senator Casperson or Representative Dianda because I vote out of state. But I pay taxes within their districts. Far far more taxes than I believe I should courtesy of Proposal A.
Proposal A is wreaking havoc on real estate sales throughout the state and especially in Baraga County. The law needs major reworking or outright repeal. It would greatly help if Senator Casperson and Representative Dianda were more tuned the damage this law is causing, both in their districts and throughout the state.