Voters hand defeat to Bay millage

ESCANABA — A Bay College operating millage proposal was denied by nearly three-quarters of Delta County voters in Tuesday’s election.

A total of 1,874 voters (26.01 percent) supported the proposal. However, 5,332 voters (73.99 percent) were against it.

The proposal asked voters whether or not they were in favor of increasing the limitation on the amount of taxes that could be assessed against all property in Bay’s district boundaries by .8924 mills ($0.89 per $1,000 of taxable value) for 20 years from 2019 to 2038, inclusive.

Had the proposal been approved, it would have allowed for the restoration of .1924 mills already approved by voters but not collected by Bay as a result of the Headlee Amendment and for a .7 mill increase to the college’s millage funding. The college would have collected an estimated $1,054,256 in the increased millage’s first year.

After the results from Tuesday’s election came in, Bay College President Laura Coleman thanked people in the county for making their voices heard.

“The board of trustees are going to take a look at it again,” she said of the work the millage would have funded.

According to Coleman, the board plans to investigate alternative options — including altering the scope of the work.

Bay College Board of Trustees Chair Thomas Butch said that, in his opinion, the defeat of Bay’s millage request was largely the result of “millage fatigue” in Delta County.

“That was the thing I heard first and foremost,” he said.

Coleman agreed with this assessment.

“I think that the people in Delta County are tired of millages,” she said.


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