MISD Puts 1.2 Mil Increase on Countywide Ballot

by Rob Montilla on September 14, 2011

On the November 8 ballot, the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD) is asking every voter in Macomb County to vote on a 1.2 mil increase (a $1.20 tax per thousand dollars of taxable value – this amounts to $120/year for a home valued at $100,000) for the next 20 years. This proposal has the backing of all 21 public school districts in the county.

The MISD tells us this tax increase is to help the special needs children of our county yet they further describe this as benefitting all students in our county. The MISD continues to say this tax increase is needed to “offset funding cuts” from the approved state budget.

In considering voting on this tax increase, I submit to you the following…

  • In a struggling economy, it is reprehensible to raise taxes on county residents when many can’t find jobs, are losing their homes and are having difficulty making ends meet.
  • It is a complete lack of accountability when the school districts of the county fail to adjust to the budget realities of today and treat the taxpayer as their personal bank.
  • When school districts need capital investments, they put a bond issue on the ballot and explain the purpose of the bond. There is no such defined need with this increase. In fact, the MISD only says “local districts would receive additional funds for special education programs” and that this would free up money for general education programs. A 20-year millage is needed to fund general education programs?

While a strong education system is the foundation for a better future, this proposal does not lay out a clear case for how education in the county will be improved. This tax increase will fund the school districts’ operating budget to a total of over half a billion dollars over the life of the millage. Can you trust how these dollars will be spent?

This tax increase is a bad idea and a way the education special interests have found to offset the revenue cuts from the state budget. There is no clear or defined purpose for this tax increase but the proponents of the measure are hoping to catch voters unaware during an off-year election for most of the county. If this passes, this will set precedent for how you the taxpayer will continue to be responsible for these districts’ lack of fiscal discipline.

Deny the special interests by voting NO on the Special Education Operating Millage on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.

For more information see the MISD’s own information about the increase and other references (click a link):

The MISD’s website about the Millage

The MISD’s flyer for the Millage

Ballot Language for the Proposal

Macomb Daily Article on 7-18-11

If you believe this tax increase should be stopped, please forward this information to your friends and neighbors.

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