Backs MAPS renewal

To the Journal editor:

To all voting citizens, parents, teachers, seniors, etc., regarding the election Tuesday, the ballot includes a request to renew the existing 20 year school millage for our MAPS school district which expires end of 2013.

The renewal is for our next 20 year cycle. I am writing this editorial to support this millage. This millage pays for operation of schools, providing approximately 8.5 million dollars for everyday costs like utilities, salaries, insurance, etc. Without operational millage, MAPS would be devastated financially.

The millage affects non-homestead properties and businesses. If you own one home (your homestead), this millage will not affect your taxes. For other homesteads and businesses, the school millage taxes will remain the same as you have always paid.

The millage limit is set by law, and your taxes will not, and cannot increase. All Marquette voters need to vote on Tuesday, and vote yes to renew the school millage. Keep our district one of the State’s best. Vote yes!

The ballot language includes a .5mill “increase” for use if needed to keep the amount allowed at maximum. It won’t increase your taxes! In 1994, Proposal A dictated the amount of millage a district collects. The State school operational millage limit was set at 18mills.

From the 1978 Headlee amendment, the State can reduce this limit if school district property values increase more than the rate of inflation. Marquette’s property values increased 2006 through 2009.

Therefore, our millage limit reduced to 17.477 mills. Since Proposal A allowed 18 mills, Marquette voters approved a 1 mill “cushion” in 2007 to supplement the limit back up to the 18 mill maximum. From 2007 voter wisdom, we are still using the 1 mill “cushion” they approved, but we have less than .5mills for future property value increases.

With a new mine, Duke Life Point, and Marquette one of the best 5 places to live in Michigan, Marquette’s real estate may likely increase over 20 years.

We lost .5230mills in 4 short years. Therefore, the ballot language asks to increase the “cushion” by .5mills to offset future reductions.

Your taxes won’t change, they cannot be increased for school millage. Don’t be confused by ballot language, Vote yes!

Please educate yourself on this critical millage. Without it, MAPS suffers an 8.5 million revenue loss. Vote yes for school millage renewal. It’s the right thing to do for our MAPS school district.