The Swansea Board has increased property taxes 83 percent over the last four years. The board says that every cent of increased spending is essential and cannot be reduced. These types of tax increases cannot be sustained by the taxpayers.
Instead of continually increasing taxes, our elected officials must lobby for structural changes that will lift unfunded mandates from municipalities allowing them to save money instead of raising taxes. The Swansea Board must begin lobbying our state legislators for reforms in pensions, collective bargaining, prevailing wages, work comp insurance, and township road taxes.
The prevailing wage laws increase the cost of village construction projects by 20 percent or more. The $20 million sewer plant could have been built for $16 million without prevailing wage rules and all of our sewer bills would be much lower.
The township road district collects $200,000 in township road taxes from Swansea citizens each year and uses the money to improve roads in subdivisions outside of Swansea. That money should be returned to Swansea for the care of Swansea roads. Swansea has lost millions of dollars to the township over the years in road taxes.
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If the Swansea Board and other boards in our region lobby for the lifting of unfunded mandates, they can save hundreds of thousands of dollars, get more done, and perhaps reduce taxes. Wouldn’t that be nice.
Timothy Buchanan, Swansea