In his latest letter to the editor Don Seehausen proposes to eliminate the “unnecessary vehicle sticker” road tax. As so often in the past, Mr.Seehausen is promising something he knows little about. He is again making misleading comments aimed at fooling the voter into thinking the present administration is doing something wrong, and he will singlehandedly make it right. The following is the reality of vehicle stickers. The devil is in the details, as they say.
While eliminating the vehicle sticker sounds like a great campaign pitch and something every vehicle owner would love, including me. However, he does not explain how he expects to fill the $260,000.00 hole that action would leave in the Road and Bridge fund. The sale of vehicle stickers accounts for about 45% of the total revenue for the Road and Bridge fund. The remainder of the roughly $570,000.00 in total yearly revenue comes from the Road and Bridge real estate tax levy that is made by Crete Township. This money is used to pave, patch and fix roads, curb repair and replacement, handle drainage issues, trim trees and bushes along road sides, road side mowing, salt, crack sealing, snow plowing, all storm sewer maintenance, street lighting maintenance, vehicle purchases, equipment purchases, vehicle maintenance, leaf pick-up and branch chipping. Knowing that all of these functions are a necessity of operating and maintaining the Village and assisting the residents, it is easy to see that eliminating the vehicle stickers would be an irresponsible action without a way to replace the revenue. While the majority of our roads are in “ok” condition, none are what I would call great, and that is because, if anything the Road and Bridge fund is underfunded. We have a need for more revenue not less, to properly service the 50+ miles of roads in the Village of Crete. So the $64,000.00 question still remains unanswered; how will Mr. Seehausen fund the elimination of the vehicle sticker? Does he intend to raise our taxes to pay for his promise? It has to come from somewhere.
I believe we do a tremendous job of stretching every dollar of the limited funds we have. Mr. Seehausen’s proposal is a perfect example of what many call “silly season”, where challengers say anything they can to get elected. They throw anything at the wall and hope something sticks and hope they fool the voter into believing that the current administration is doing something wrong. I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth, and I believe the voters are smarter than Mr. Seehausen thinks.