Brighton Realtor Says Headlee Override Could Harm Home Sales
August 3, 2018
A ballot proposal to fix streets in the City of Brighton has created a lot of opinions, not all of them in favor.
On Tuesday, voters will decide a Headlee Override request to allow the city to levy the charter limit of 20 mills for a period of 10 years. Officials say the money would be used exclusively to fix the city’s streets. One resident who is adamantly opposed to the measure is Lynn Rosen, who works as a realtor. Rosen says that the tax burden the override will place on many area residents would be unreasonable. "I understand about needing to fix the roads, but I am finding it a little unconscionable that it's on the backs of so many people who are on fixed incomes. I'm all for progress, but it seems like we are moving ahead in leaps and bounds without consideration of the people that live here."
Rosen worries that it could have negative impact on the housing market. She says that two of her potential home sales have fallen through when buyers learn about the tax rate they would be paying if the measure passes. Rosen is concerned that if the measure passes, it could trigger a broader negative reaction in the local housing market. Ironically, that is the opposite argument being advanced by fellow Brighton Realtor Jordan Genso, who is heading up The Committee To Be Right On Roads, which is in support of the override. He says if the city roads continue to fall into disrepair, that will prove to be a disincentive for people looking to buy homes in Brighton. "Choosing to not raise taxes now allows for us to coast a little longer without negative effect, but it doesn't actually avoid the consequences Lynn is basing her argument on -- it only delays them."
Because of reductions triggered by the Headlee Amendment, Brighton only collects around 15.65-mills from taxpayers. If approved on Tuesday, the 4.35-mill difference would generate roughly $1.85 (m) million dollars per year. City officials say that further reductions to the budget will mean cutting core services and that finding additional revenue is the only way to generate the money needed in order to properly maintain the city’s roads.
Rosen is skeptical that is true and says greater efficiency in how money is being spent combined with a smaller tax increase could better solve the issue.
UPDATE: Brighton City Manager said they have posted additional information about the Headlee Override that may answer some of the questions being raised. That link is below. (JK)