By Ryan Hodges
Meridian Times staff writer
On a day of gift giving and love, Nancy Brown, an Okemos resident, said she was able to do something for the first time – pay her taxes on time.
Brown’s husband of 33 years, Tim Brown, is going blind, and this year he decided to apply for disability income to help his family financially.
“Because (of) his love for us he went ahead and applied for it,” Brown said. “He didn’t have to do that, and by doing that he’ll probably lose his (driver’s) license.”
Residents filed into the Meridian Township Municipal Building on Feb. 14 to pay their winter property taxes on the final day before a penalty fee would be tacked on to their payment. Residents could pay their property taxes in person, by mailing a check, credit card using a third-party website or by signing up for an automatic electronic payment.
A township resident, Rebecca Kim, said that having to pay such a large amount of money put a damper on a day that was supposed to be special.
“It’s awful,” Kim said. “(On Valentine’s Day) when you have a little bit of surplus you want to share it, but with having to pay taxes it kind of backfires on it.”
Township treasurer Julie Brixie said that while the majority of property taxes are designated for schools, some of the money will go to the Capital Area District Library, Capital Area Transit Authority and a special millage for a land preservation fund, to name a few.
“That’s what you’re paying for with your property taxes, you’re paying for services,” Brixie said. “The vast majority of the money that we spend is in the people we have providing the services.”
Roger Bresnahan, Michigan State professor and Okemos resident, said he appreciates what the township provides with his tax dollars.
“There are a lot of good services in the township,” Bresnahan said. “If you don’t want to pay these taxes, then you should move to somewhere where services are minimal.”
On his way to babysit and get blood tests, John L. Robinson, township resident, said paying his property taxes was just another errand on his to-do list for the day.
“Valentine’s day wasn’t that significant … (it is) just another day,” Robinson said. “I already got the chocolates (for my wife) though.”