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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I have a question regarding the legality of my township

Customer Question

I have a question regarding the legality of my township creating and collecting for a "sinking fund" to pay for a fire truck for the volunteer fire dept. They apparently created an ordinance to back it up prior to me purchasing a home here. It is a separate "tax" that they send a little card in the mail to collect. $24 every year for everyone above 18 in the household. Been paying for 4 years now and do not believe this is just.
Is this something you can help with?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.


This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

You can certainly go to the next town meeting and express your dismay in the ordinance that has imposed this tax. Keep in mind, that if you were to have a full time professional fire department who would need to have salaries paid, your taxes would be hire. And in small towns where the volunteers work for nothing, I suggest you may not be well regarded if you speak about being opposed to the tax for a new truck. But you certainly can and motion to have it rescinded and see if you get a second on the motion. If you do, then the council has to take it up for a vote - unless it is "tabled" and it can be tabled indefinitely.

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have other questions in this regard. Keep in mind, I can only answer and provide information for what you ask. I do not know what you need to know, unless you tell me. Please rate positive as this is how I get credit for my time and information.

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not that you really need to know the back story, but here is the reason for the disagreement on the "tax." I live in a VERY small part of a larger neighboring town that has a full fire department and the capabilities to match the response time that our own department would provide. The neighboring town is actually our town too, as we are only a township. Same zip code. Our township is so insignificant and closely neighboring the main town that the police department was dissolved years ago due to the ability of the neighboring town to cover it.So, what it comes down to is that the fire department here is completely unnecessary. I have had this conversation with a few of my neighbors and they have all expressed that they felt the same.So, you said that if they had a full time profesional department, that taxes would be higher. If that were the case, would they send us what looks like a little homemade card in the mail specifically for that funding? I've never seen that before in my life. If it were a truly justified expense, why would it not be a part of our local taxes we all get deducted from our paychecks?The bot***** *****ne is I feel the fire truck was purchased to fulfilled the wants of a few select members of the fire department and should have been taken to the people of the town directly to see if it was wanted or not.You mentioned a few unfamiliar terms in your response...rescinded? And second to motion by who?And how does something become tabled and how would I find out if it was?Thanks
Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

Rescinded means you want the New Ordinance abolished. And given your clarification, you can have your community exempted. That means they can still keep the tax on others but not you community.

Making a Motion from the floor is when you go to talk against the new ordinance in which a tax was imposed, you then motion to have the board rescind it. But you need to have a second. So you would want someone who agrees with you there at the meeting. If you can get a board member to make the motion, then they would need a second.

If it is tabled, that means there is some discussion then someone motions to table the motion to rescind and it is not mentioned again until it is raised again and generally it never is.

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.

The back story was very helpful. However, it does not change much, if anything. I fully understand you are over taxed. And I fully understand why you feel the new truck is not necessary. But that is the process.