Jefferson Davis is a longtime resident of Menomonee Falls. He is the proud parent of two wonderful boys. He enjoys singing, volunteering, reading, gardening, politics, antiques, history, guitar, violin, piano, officiating, helping neighbors and yard work. He served as Village President of Menomonee Falls from 2003-05. He is a member of Northbrook Church and serves on the Advisory Council for the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center. He is an independent registered representative practicing in the areas of insurance, investments and retirement.
I am a guest blogger for this posting. I have contacted The Vanguard and have received their permission to do so.
I watched the Village President Debate on March 30th and heard Randy Newman promise to resign over his tax bill increases if he were wrong.
I have looked at my property tax bills from the last 3 years and they have gone up 10% when the new garbage tax is included that Randy Newman has voted for since 2006 that our community was promised was going to be temporary.
I don't know Randy Newman, but I hope he will follow through with his promise because I'm tired of my taxes going up so much and I don't want to see any more fees added to my tax bill.
I moved to Menomonee Falls from Milwaukee to get away from what they were doing with new fees and high taxes.
I am posting this communication that I received from the Davis for President group this morning.
I believe the voters need to know this because it is not being covered in the newspapers.
Davis Accepts Challenger's Resignation From Office over 10% Tax Bill Increases in Falls Race
Menomonee Falls - In a startling and encouraging development in the race for Menomonee Falls Village President, the challenger to Jefferson E. Davis (Randy Newman) has said he will resign from office over his 10% + tax bill increases of the last 3 years if he is wrong about the amount of the tax bill increases while being a member of the Village Board (click here for coverage of resignation http://www.menomoneefallsnow.com/news/42188172.html).
Newman made the promise during the Chamber sponsored Village President Forum on Monday, March 30th that was broadcast live on Cable Access Channel 14 and is being rebroadcast a number of times between now and the April 7th Election.
The Cable Access Channel's schedule is attached (http://fallscableaccess.com/) and the Chamber sponsored Village President Forum is confusingly titled, "2009 Voter Forum".
The scheduled times are unfortunately either very early in the morning, mid-afternoon or very late at night preventing the optimum time for the maximum number of people to view the forum. It is also unfortunate that the Cable Access Director will not have the event as a streaming video available for those who would like to watch the forum, but have to work during the day and or are asleep for the late night rebroadcasts on the cable channel.
The Menomonee Falls Village President Race will conclude with the election on Tuesday, April 7th.
In accepting Newman as a man of his word and his statement of resigning from office over his 10% + tax bill increases from the last 3 years, Davis said today:
"I have known Randy for probably 20 years now and consider him a friend and a man of his word.
I can only hope Randy will follow through with his public promise to resign from office because the facts are in the numbers that appear on the average homeowner's tax bill which have increased annually over 10% during the last 3 years due to his votes on the Village Board.
I will accept his resignation and I think the voters will too for lower taxes and free garbage pick up.
The overwhelming majority of homeowners in Menomonee Falls own a home in the $200,000 - $225,000 price range even with the recent pullback in home values.
To skirt the Governor's Tax Levy Freeze, which I wholeheartedly support and only wish that it were a true tax freeze instead of the window dressing that it is, my opponent voted in 2006 to legally do an end around the Governor's Tax Levy Freeze by raising the Menomonee Falls tax levy as much as possible and moved the garbage service pick up to a brand new fee of $85 per household.
The fee is scheduled to go up 3% a year without a vote by the Village Board, which is now $90 a year just 2 years later and has lead to his 10% + tax bill increases over the last 3 years with his votes on the Village Board.
My opponent's end around votes on property tax levy increases and switching basic garbage service to a new fee outside of what taxpayers expect will be included in their property tax levy, reminds me of the Minimum Mark Up Gasoline Law and the State Indexed Gasoline Tax that were both recently defeated and rightly so.
The taxpayers of Menomonee Falls overwhelmingly stated in the taxpayer funded 2006 Community Survey that they felt their taxes were way too high and want them to be lowered immediately. I agree.
My opponent has done just the opposite of what the taxpayers have said what they want with his 10% + tax bill increases over the last 3 years with his votes on the Village Board.
My tax bill is an example of what the overwhelming majority of homeowners in Menomonee Falls have seen every December when they open their mailbox only to find my opponent's 10% + tax bill increases for the Village portion of the bill over the last 3 years:
2005 $861.36 no garbage tax as it was always included in the tax levy
2006 $869.70 + $85 garbage tax = $954.70 11% tax bill increase with new
2007 $865.22 + $85 garbage tax = $950.22 9% tax bill increase with new
2008 $882.23 + $90 garbage tax = $972.23 12% tax bill increase with new
It is clear that homeowners have had to bear the burden of higher taxes and new fees over the last 3 years with my opponent shifting basic services from the tax levy to new fees when those fees were never there before until my opponent joined the Village Board in 2005.
There are more proposals floating around Village Hall for even more new fees to raise revenue and skirt the Governor's Tax Levy Freeze with a fire hydrant rental fee and an impervious surface fee including non-profits.
High taxes are not a result of the tax levy, tax assessment or tax rates. High taxes are a result of too much government spending.
I have called for an immediate Board Policy that will eliminate the shifting of basic Village Services from the tax levy to "fees". No matter what you call it, it still comes from the pocket of the taxpayer.
Let's keep as much money in the pocket of the taxpayer and the local economy as possible.
Menomonee Falls is the 7th worst taxed community in Waukesha County according to the 2008 Journal Sentinel Survey (http://www.jsonline.com/realestate/39528637.html) and when my opponent's $90 per household garbage tax is included, Menomonee Falls is the 5th worst taxed community in Waukesha County.
When I served as Village President, we were able to pass a 3 year tax levy freeze that resulted in homeowners and businesses seeing their taxes actually go down.
This resulted in Menomonee Falls nearly making its way out of the Top 10 Worst Taxed Communities in Waukesha County, but unfortunately with my opponent's 3 year voting record, Menomonee Falls is making its way back up the list.
During these severe recessionary times, I believe homeowners and businesses need tax relief not more taxes and fees for services otherwise we will morph into a Milwaukee with their constant transferring of basic services to fees (click here for a copy of the average Milwaukee Water Bill with numerous new fees that used to be included in their tax levy http://media.menomoneefallsnow.com/images/the_vanguard_703020_Misc-Info-10-pgs01.png).
I believe homeowners need to have their garbage picked up for free by Waste Management instead of being charged $90 a year by the Village Board because this is a company that has grossed $13.2 billion a year and netted $1.2 billion a year for the last 3 years while making millions of dollars a year off the backs of the taxpayers in Menomonee Falls.
This is a company that also sells methane gas from the Menomonee Falls Landfill to We Energies and provides energy to 15,000 area homes without the taxpayers of Menomonee Falls getting any royalties or dividends from these sales of which hundreds of examples exist throughout America where companies pay local governments hundreds of millions of dollars each year to domicile their operations in that community.
Unfortunately, my opponent has voted to "seal and keep secret" Waste Management's Financials for their Menomonee Falls Operations and we may never know how much money is being made off the backs of the taxpayers in Menomonee Falls.
My opponent also voted to not ask for free garbage pick up and to not get any royalties or dividends from the methane gas selling rights on December 15, 2008.
The taxpayers are missing out on major property tax relief and an income stream for many years to come from the methane gas selling rights because of my opponent's voting record.
As Village President, I will immediately ask the Village Board to vote on free garbage pick up, make sure the $42 million Municipal Facilities Fund is paid for without taxpayer's money as was promised by the Village Board in 2000, open the books for Waste Management's Financials and for royalties and dividends from the methane gas selling rights.
The voters deserve no less than to have a Village Board that will work for the best interests of homeowners and businesses."
April 2, 2009