A phone call Friday morning regarding property taxes in Canton prompted me to go to a source that could answer my questions AND explain it to me.

A phone call Friday morning regarding property taxes in Canton prompted me to go to a source that could answer my questions AND explain it to me.


Novel idea. Am I right?


Treasurer, Crystal Wilkinson, quickly did explain there was indeed a 1.5 percent increase adopted, but it is not an overall tax increase (meaning it is not  1.5 percent across the board).


I remember attending the meeting and writing about it, but my memory had to be jogged, for sure.


The increase, according to Wilkinson, will only gain the city about $41,851 in additional funding.


She used the term only and I use it as well because when talking about municipalities and money, $41,851 is not a lot.


As you’re reading this don’t think of this in terms of a household budget. It simply doesn’t work that way and is in no way comparable.


It is a difficult concept to grasp.


Crystal used an analogy in an attempt to make the concept easier to understand.


She described paying $100 for an item one year and then going back the following year to buy the same item. Upon returning to buy it again, you discover it’s gone up in price 1.5 percent so now instead of paying $100, you’re going to have to pay $101.50 or $1.50 more than last year.


This analogy wasn’t about a pair of boots, for goodness sakes, it was about how minuscule the amount of property tax increase for the City of Canton is.


Some said they would go to another store and buy a cheaper pair. This was SIMPLY an analogy. Unfortunately, when it comes to property taxes one can’t ‘shop around.’


Sure, you can move, but wherever you choose to go, if you are a homeowner, you are going to have property taxes.


I feel taxed to death just as much as everyone else; more so on my paycheck than my property, but nonetheless. Heck, I don’t even like to pay for gas. I have to if I want to go anywhere and get things done I need to get done, but I don’t want to.


The monies received from this increase will go to fund pensions; police and fire.


The city is LEGALLY bound to fund these pensions.


People have said hire less cops/firefighters. We have too many. They never do anything. I never see them on my street.


I will always support our police and fire departments and I do not agree with these comments because I know they’re not true.


Emotionally one may fully believe every statement is accurate, but emotion doesn’t equal truth.


Funny, though, a story I wrote after Wednesday night’s council meeting regarding the swearing in of two new firefighters received no negative comments once posted on our Facebook as well as 66 positive reactions and four shares.


March 5, 2018, a publication noted, “Municipalities across the state are feeling the pension pinch. In fact, some are seeing most, if not all, of their share of property taxes going to police and fire pensions and there’s not much relief expected from the state.”


Lt. Anthony Martin with the Chicago Fire Department said, “Legislators must stop using the pension system as cash cows and finally end pension holidays. The failure to make the necessary payment to the systems as  is bad public policy as the short term gains create long term fiscal problems.”


I should note, Lt. Martin’s comments were geared toward STATE legislators, not local, elected officials.


Listen, it is so easy to be an armchair quarterback.


I get it. How hard could it possibly be to run a city?


After attending a truck ton of meetings over the course of almost 25 years it’s actually pretty difficult.


Yeah, property taxes are a pain in the backside, but, personally I have a TON of other things I would rather spend time complaining about.


And, if you’re still really hung up about the 1.5 percent, here’s a thought if you live in Ward 2.


You can’t officially be on the ballot, but you can run as a write-in  candidate for the April 2 Consolidated Election.


To do so, a write-in candidate must file a notarized “Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In Candidate” no later than 61 days prior to the election, which in this case would be Jan. 31.


Instead of just talking about what ‘they’ should do and what ‘they’ aren’t doing, put yourself out there, get elected, make a difference!