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  • Writer's pictureMike Burkons

Lowering Property Taxes Benefits Everyone in the Short and Long Term

Dear Beachwood Residents,

For the past few months, you have heard me suggest that the City should voluntarily forego levying the charter millage they receive on our property taxes, which would result in the average homeowner saving around $500 a year. Just to clear up any confusion, this will NOT take any funds from our schools as I am just talking about 5.8% of your property taxes that goes to the City. Here are a few points to consider...

  • The City's total general fund revenue is around $45m a year and only approx $2m comes from the charter millage of our property taxes.

  • This would mean that City of Beachwood leaders would have to figure out how to make do with only $43m instead of $45m in annual general fund revenue.

  • $43m compares to following annual general fund revenue of other similar sized cities also known to provide excellent city services...

I think that most homeowners would welcome an extra $500 a year in their pocket, especially when it would still leave the City of Beachwood with almost twice as much general fund annual revenue as the four similar sized cities listed above that are also known to provide excellent city services.

Also, my proposal would help the schools when they have a funding request in front of voters. I believe that most residents generally support our public schools, even if they don't have children enrolled, as they understand that good communities require good public schools which are dependent on property taxes for their funding and success. However, even for residents that generally support the school district, there is a capacity of the level of property taxes some will vote for or can afford. It is selfish for the City to take money from property taxes that it doesn't need, simply because the Charter and laws permit it, as it makes it harder for the schools to succeed when they are on a ballot.

I have suggested this idea/proposal before and it has always been ignored. Residents have asked other City officials if this is something they would consider, and their response has always been along the lines of "Mike Burkons doesn't understand that things don't work that way" and what I am suggesting is impractical and/or impossible. This is objectively untrue. In fact, all it would take is a vote by four of the seven City Council members and it would happen.

I am well aware that what I am proposing is something reasonable people can disagree on. However, if you are an elected official (or have put yourself on a ballot in hopes to become one), and you don't think that what I am proposing is good idea, instead of trying to mislead residents into believing that it is impractical or impossible, have the courage to welcome and engage in a public discussion where you can explain and make your case directly to residents for why you are against it.

This shouldn't have to be said, but there is an expectation that elected officials will go out of their way to let the public know where they stand on important issues, if for no other reason than to give residents a reference point to consider the next time their name is on a ballot.

I want to end this blog post by letting voters know that my entire campaign will NOT solely focus on this option Council has to lower property taxes. There are 3.5 months before election day which is plenty of time to talk about the other things we can do to improve and better our community. However, the deadline for Council to vote to lower our property taxes is September 15th. If Council continues to pretend this idea was never suggested or isn’t a real option at their disposal, there will not be enough time for the public discussion, debate and consideration it deserves.

Please reach out to me via phone, text, email or through my Facebook page/blog, etc.

Have a great weekend,

Mike Burkons


(This post was updated on 4-12-23)

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