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Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Updates: Macomb Tax Protest Kicks A**!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Macomb Tax Protest Kicks A**!

Over 120 agitated MTA protesters and an additional 100 angry taxpayers greeted Paul Gieleghem, Chair of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, at a 'town hall' meeting last night in Shelby Township. Commissioner Gieleghem scheduled the meeting to explain why most commissioners are seeking a 9% increase in the county property tax.

Gieleghem orchestrated several such town hall meetings to build support for the tax hike, holding most during the day so working taxpayers can't attend and stocking the meetings with county government employees and employee union officials. Last night was very different - the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance showed up.

And show up we did! The Macomb Daily reports that 80 protesters chanted outside prior to the meeting - but the reporter's estimate is way low. See the article here.

Things got testy, wanna see?

First, check out the coverage on Channel 4 WDIV news last night.

Then check out the Fox 2 News coverage that aired.

The meeting itself was attended by over 220 people, nearly all opposed the tax hike. Gieleghem argued that the only way to avoid hiking taxes was to cut services. He avoided the fact that the COST of services, not the services themselves, are the problem; most county employees are eligible to retire at age 50 and the county is the last employer on Earth to offer employees expensive 'defined benefit' retirement plans. Every other employer that offers retirement provides a 'defined contribution' plan or 401k.

Attached are two photos from the protest.

Great job Macomb County MTA members and friends. Last night, we were heard - the only things going up in Macomb are unemployment and taxes. And politicians are directly responsible for at least one of those problems!

Leon Drolet
MI Taxpayers Alliance

One last thing. Not every Macomb Commissioner supports the tax hike. The few remaining Republicans left on the Board oppose the tax hike and Commissioners Don Brown (R-Washington Twp.), Keith Rengert (R-Richmond) and Jim Carabelli (R-Shelby Township) attended the protest and/or meeting.