Homeowners, neighborhoods and communities are best served when people are able to remain in their homes. Families across our state are struggling to do just that, and I want to make sure they have a fighting chance. Thats why I am working on measures to protect homeowners from property tax increases that are out of step with their homes actual value.
Legislation I sponsored would make sure that a propertys taxable value doesnt increase any faster than its assessed value. I also co-sponsored legislation to prevent homeowners from seeing their property taxes go up if the assessed value of their home goes down. In addition, homeowners whose tax assessments fall below the taxable value of their home would see the taxable value of their home also reduced. Both measures would need approval from voters in November.
Its true these proposals will result in less revenue for government. But just like our hardworking families, government at every level must learn to tighten its belt and live within its means. Common sense and fairness says that if home values are falling, property taxes should not continue to rise. With families leaving our state in droves and those who remain struggling to stay in their homes, how can we justify collecting property taxes that are out of step with home values?
When I came to the Legislature in 1992, Michigan was hurting property taxes were out of control and families were losing their homes. Today we find ourselves in similar distress, and I will not let government continue to rob our hardworking families. Bringing property taxes back in line with home values is a common sense approach that will help struggling families and communities throughout Michigan. Homeowners shouldnt have to watch their property taxes climb while their home values drop. I am fighting to change that. I urge our House colleagues to join us in protecting Michigan families during these tough economic times.
Michelle A. McManus State Senator, 35th District
Stop sexual assault
The Womens Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRC) joins the rest of the country in recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The WRC helps hundreds of individuals and families each year that have experienced this devastating crime of sexual violence at some point in their lives.
We now have an additional mission of primary prevention. This is taking action before any violence occurs to prevent an assault or victimization. Primary prevention seeks to change root causes of sexual violence; such as societal norms, attitudes and behaviors.
The responsibility for sexual violence prevention lies within each of us. Educate yourself and start conversations about the problem of sexual violence. Challenge those who use degrading language or actions. Intervene or get help if you see a friend or stranger grab or insult a woman. Do not support companies that use commercials or ads exploiting women, and explain to children, nieces, nephews, and others that this is not okay.
Help re-define what healthy masculinity looks like to end dangerous stereotypes. Mentor youth by modeling equality in relationships. Primary prevention helps create communities where we all have the right to feel safe in our relationships, homes, neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.
The WRC is a non-profit agency serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For more information, call the WRC 24-hour crisis and information line at (231) 347-0082 or
Carrie Sundstrom Community Prevention Coordinator
Support Silent Sports
Thank you for last week‘s Silent Sports article about George Schluender. In a time of looking for any silver lining in Michigan, his is one of them. Our ineffective governor has put yet another nail in the proverbial Michigan coffin by announcing that the state will be cutting the travel advertising budget drastically. Let‘s just kill the final viable industry in Michigan -- travel.
I am a want-to-be avid biker but time and motivation limit what I do. But it doesn‘t deplete my desire to take advantage of the silent recreations our great state has to offer. Biking, kayaking/canoeing, camping, golfing, hiking, horseback riding -- all of these and others could bring in thousands of people which means billions of dollars to our state if the advertising opportunity was allowed to flourish.
I recently read an article about states promoting the new sport of freeride biking. This uses ski hills in the off season to allow thrill seekers to ride down and load back up on the lifts for a small fee and do it again. Colorado is pushing it. Meanwhile, Minnesota is looking to add 50 miles of non-motorized trail in the next year.
Its time Michigan starts promoting not our dying industry but our flourishing natural industry. Quit shoving money into private business and shove it down the throats of America as Michigan being the countrys biggest playland.
Joe Deater Lake Ann
Hats off to Abi Nieman, Niki Andrick and Quenten Walker who were among those named in our Best Bartenders and Waitress category. Their names were misspelled in the Best of Northern Michigan issue.