City passes proposal to raise property tax to fix sidewalks - WNEM TV 5

City passes proposal to raise property tax to fix sidewalks

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A proposal was passed to charge residents more in taxes to fix city sidewalks.

Infrastructure issues are a big problem in older cities like Bay City. There are sidewalks in disrepair.

The Bay City City Commission voted in favor of tacking on a 1 percent fee on property tax bills to pay for the repairs over a 10 year span. It's expected to raise $300,000 that will go strictly towards sidewalk repair. It would cost the average homeowner just under $7 a year.

"We have no other resources other than to replace some of those dollars so that we can do this important infrastructure," City Manager Richard Finn said.

Some residents are not happy with the decision. They said they don't have confidence that their sidewalks will be replaced even with the extra money flowing in.

"I'm a taxpayer and I don't want to pay more taxes. We pay enough taxes. They should come out and fix the sidewalks anyways," said Cindy Gilbert, resident.

The condition of the sidewalk in front of Gilbert's home has her tripping.

"They're bad, they're very bad," she said.

It's been so dangerous she took matters into her own hands 10 years ago.

"We had to patch it up because it was all caving in," Gilbert said.

However, the city approved the proposal and the residents will see the added fee on their summer property tax bills.

The city said a loss in property values is the reason the city had to pass the proposal to address the sidewalk issue.

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