In Brief: Voters Asked to Approve Millage for Special Education Funding on Nov. 8

A 1.2-mill property tax proposal is on the Nov. 8 ballot. If approved, this money will be used to help finance programs for 20,000 special education students in Macomb County.

On Nov. 8, Shelby Township and Utica residents will be asked to vote on a special education mill of which the proceeds will be used to offset state and federal funding losses in the county's 21 local districts and the Macomb Intermediate School District.

The 1.2-mill property tax proposal is expected to raise $27.5 million, or $206 per pupil across the county when first levied in 2011. According to the MISD, this is approximately one-fourth of the $785 per student local schools are losing annually as compared to 2008 funding.

One hundred percent of the proceeds raised will fund local education programs, including programs for 20,000 special education students, which is now one in every seven students in the county, according to the MISD. 

These funds will relieve local districts such as Chippewa Valley, L'Anse Creuse, New Haven and Utica from having to use portions of general education funds for special education services.

For taxpayers doing the math, the 1.2 mill increase equates to $1.20 per thousand dollars of taxable value, meaning the average homeowner would pay 20 cents per day, or $71.56 per year.

Homeowners can calculate their exact cost with a special program on the MISD website.

If approved, the mill will be imposed for a period of 20 years, or 2011-2030, and the revenue from this millage will benefit Macomb's 21 school districts.

This proposal was endorsed by the Macomb County School Superintendents Association, requested by all 21 school districts in the county and finally approved by the MISD Board of Education on Aug. 4.

To find your voting precinct on Nov. 8, visit the Michigan Votes website.

ShelbyReader September 27, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Maybe we should send the school officials in this area to a special education class in Ethics. According to your article, this millage would raise $27.5 million or $206 per pupil which comes to 133,495 students, the entire school age population of the County. If there are 20,000 special education students then 85% of the money raised by this proposed millage is going for other purposes, not special education. Obviously, school officials are trying to deceive the public and circumvent the intent of Proposition A. The most direct and immediate beneficiaries of the money spent on education are adults, not children. The money raised by this millage, if the voters are foolish enough to pass it, will go in the pockets of adults who appear to be willing to say anything to grab more money for themselves.
ShelbyReader September 28, 2011 at 06:38 PM
This proposed 1.2 millage hike represents a 41% tax increase. The current MISD millage is 2.943 and raises $67 million dollars ($505 per student) from Macomb County property taxpayers. If this proposal passes, the MISD millage will rise to 4.143 mills costing the public $95 million dollars ($711 per student). In addition to the MISD tax, Macomb taxpayers already pay a 6 mills tax for State Education that raises $137.5 million ($1000 per student) and Utica School’s taxpayers pay another 3.8 mills tax for Utica School’s debt service. There is no reason to believe that the MISD is a good steward of the monies they already receive from the public. The MISD Board is not elected by the public and is not accountable to anyone. If you look on the MISD website you will not find any financial statements or any information on how much money they took in or how they spent those dollars. Even though the MISD relies on public dollars, they do not disclose how many employees work at the MISD, what do those people do, or their compensation. This proposal is another attempt by the education lobby to shield themselves from the economic realities the rest of the citizens of Macomb County face every day.
RantnRage October 08, 2011 at 01:49 AM
The millage hike of 41%.... when is the last time you as an individual received a 41% pay increase. The School districts are just trying to get around Prop A. with this vote. Macomb County Superintendent Association approved this measure unaimously (21 Superintendents) then through their schoolboards forwarded the measure to the MISD for the MISD to place it on the ballot. Something really smells when the individual districts are coluding to sock it to the taxpayers. It is real obvous by looking at the figures that the districts get more back for special education than what they really need, and this is actually just a way to get money for all the "Gleaming Bells and Whistle" programs that school districts want, but Macomb county taxpayers cannot really afford over the next 20 years ( yeah thats right 20 years). Lets hope all Macomb county voters are intellegent enough to see through a bad millage increase and votes NO on November 8th.
ShelbyCitizen.com October 08, 2011 at 02:35 PM
A disturbing thing about the last millage approved for Utica Schools is as the property values raised, the district kept and spent the extra revenues but as property values went down, Utica Schools were able to arbitrarily raise the millage amount because the wording of the millage set a minimum amount to be paid per household. So when they get overpaid, they spend it but when the market might lower the amount of taxes they collect the law allows them to just up the millage to make up the difference because the millage is a promise of a minimum amount of financing per household. Fire half the administrators, I might consider this millage.
Dan Rankin October 31, 2011 at 08:07 PM
RantnRage November 03, 2011 at 03:15 PM
You want me to approve a 20 year millage that will take more money out of my pocket every year my property value increases. What do you think I am.. ? .. the US Government! I have a great opportunity to say NO to wasteful spending and to the 21 wasteful school districts in Macomb County. .
deanstewww@yahoo.com November 07, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Look at all these sickening parasites. Everyone up in arms over an extra $71.00 per year to go towards education!? Disgusting. I grew up in Shelby and enjoyed some of the best public education there is to offer, after which I dropped out of college and currently run my own six figure business. I proudly pay taxes towards the next generation to have the same opportunities. Shame on all of you for being such stingy, disgusting, parasitic greed mongers. Living in an area kept safe for you by tax dollars, with education that is GOOD to keep people and businesses flourishing in the area. Absolutely disgusting what comments the Right wingers put on these forums. I have no compassion for you sick sick people. Saw this posted on facebook : HUGE TAX HIKE. Maybe you should all go take a HUGE HIKE yourself and live somewhere else. Let real Americans take care of their own while you go live in Pakistan where rich people dont' pay tax and let the mob rule.
deanstewww@yahoo.com November 07, 2011 at 05:42 PM
People who don't want to pay tax for education where they live should live somewhere else! Absolutely disgusting how $71.00 per year incites such a reactionary tone from all these people! Disgusting! Utica/Shelby has had years upon years of growth and now that businesses are leaving and house prices are falling the right wingers want to make sure nobody wants to live there. The ONLY reason someone may want to live in Shelby is the good schools, but leave it to these people commenting here and you will have nothing but lawn ornaments and empty strip malls.
ShelbyReader November 07, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Since this millage increase can’t be justified by the facts, the advocates of the increase have to resort to name calling. In Shelby Township, residents will pay 4.143 mills for the MISD, 6 mills for State Education, 3.8 mills for school debt service for a combined millage of 13.943 for secondary education and another 1.5712 mills for Macomb County Community College. On a house with a taxable value of $100,000 that is $1,394 for K-12 and an additional $157 for MCCC from local homeowners for education. In addition to the support from local homeowners, educators receive money from the state. According to the June 2011 report on the School Aid Fund by the House Fiscal Agency K-12 schools received $13.316 BILLION from Michigan residents. This included $4.7 BILLION from Sales Tax revenues, nearly $2 BILLION from the Income Tax, $1.8 BILLION from the State 6-Mill Education Tax, $2.2 BILLION from the Federal Government, $733 million from the Lottery, $384 million from the Use Tax, $374 million from tobacco taxes, $125 million from Real Estate Transfer Taxes, $114 million from Casino Wagering Taxes, $739 million from the Michigan Business Taxes, and $100 million from Liquor excise tax and other taxes. On average, every one of the 7.5 million adults in Michigan paid $1800 in state taxes to fund schools in addition to the $1,394 from the local property tax revenues: a lot more than the amounts publicized by the people claiming that education is underfunded by the public.
Bleeding Michigan November 08, 2011 at 02:11 PM
This 40.8 % Tax increase on the ballot is Not about Special Needs kids being funded. There will continue to be 2.9 Mills allocated to the MISD from every taxpayer’s property tax whether the issue FAILS or passes. . This is about the 21 Macomb County superintendents colluding to increase revenues to their school districts because they are unable to control costs. In the good year Taxpayers funded golden benefit programs for school employees. Well times haven’t been good in the private sector for years. Yet the school districts continued to SPEND—and then SPEND MORE because property taxes allowed for an ever escalating revenue stream. It is time for the Public sector to learn to live within their allocated income, just like the rest of the TAXPAYERS in the county have been doing for years. If that means cuts—so be it If superintendents can’t do it, then Gov Snyder will be more than happy to provide your school district with an Emergency Financial Manager to control your costs.


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