Well, friends, our ever-vigilant City Council has come up with a new and inventive way to stick it to the Citizens of Racine. Proposed Ordinance No. 16-09 would allow the city to GIVE parcels of land to city employees for the purpose of building a house. That’s right, I said give. As in no cost, including no closing costs or fees. Ownership free and clear.
But wait, it gets better. In addition to not paying for the property – which the taxpayers have paid to purchase (possibly a small expense if the property was donated or foreclosed), vacate, and clean – they are also excused from any City of Racine property taxes for a period of five years.
And what do they have to do to receive this boon? They are required to build a house on the property of approximately the same size and quality as other houses nearby. The house must then be their “legal residence” for five years from the date they received the property, and they cannot rent out any part of it – also for the five years. (Of course, if they live in the new house and rent out their OLD house, that’s okay.) After the five years is up, the owners can sell the property, rent it or anything else they want to do with it. It’s entirely theirs. And YOU helped, by paying for the land and taxes. Don’t you feel proud?
As stated in the ordinance, “The primary purpose of this ordinance is to improve existing neighborhoods in greatest need within the City of Racine, by encouraging City, County and RUSD employees to build homes in the City. Other purposes include increasing the value of properties eligible to participate in the program offered by this ordinance and increasing the value of other properties in the neighborhoods where participating properties are located.” Bless those city employees, they sure must be some quality folks. Nobody lets ME own property in a neighborhood unless I PAY for it.
I could not find a direct link to the ordinance on-line, perhaps because it is still a proposal, but you may read it in the Minutes from the City Council meeting held July 7th (http://legistar.racinenet.org/meetings/2009/7/3448_M_Common_Council_09-07-07_Meeting_Minutes.pdf) beginning on page 49.
This is OUR money, my friends, and the City Council plans to hand it out to a favored few at a time when the rest of us are staggering under an outrageous tax burden, and many of us have lost jobs or had our hours and/or incomes reduced. This is just one more way our City Government is “improving” Racine for you and me. Thanks, Guys.