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District will try again for millage

Residents to vote on renewal on Feb. 26

December 18, 2012
By Ilsa Matthes - staff writer (imatthes@dailypress.net) , Daily Press

GLADSTONE - The Gladstone School Board approved a millage proposal resolution for a special election on Feb. 26. The proposal is a reintroduction of the failed millage proposal from the November election.

The millage proposal renewal would allow the school district to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except for principal residences and other property exempt by law. The 18 mills are required for the district to receive its per pupil foundation allowance.

"Our voters have a residence in the school district and this does not apply to residences. It applies to only non-homestead properties - vacant lots, camps; second homes," said Superintendent Jay Kulbertis, who added business properties would also be unaffected by the millage.

The millage would provide funds for operating purposes. If the proposal is approved and levied, the school district will collect approximately $1,097,402 in 2014.

"It's a very important renewal millage for us that will not increase anybody's taxes but (that) we really need to survive," said Board President Jeff Deacon.

The 18 mills would be renewed for nine years, between 2014 and 2022. If the millage proposal fails, the current 18 mills levied would expire with the 2013 tax levy.

Fact Box

At a glance

A millage proposal renewal would allow the school district to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except for principal residences and other property exempt by law.

The 18 mills are required for the district to receive its per pupil foundation allowance.

The millage would provide funds for operating purposes. If the proposal is approved and levied, the school district will collect approximately $1,097,402 in 2014.

The millage applies only to non-homestead properties - vacant lots, camps; second homes.

According to school officials, the millage will not increase anybody's taxes, but is needed for the district to survive.

The second failed Gladstone millage - which would have increased taxes on all property by 2 mills to offset mills lost by a required state reduction - will not appear on the special election ballot.

"It's not new. It's merely a renewal of what exists," explained Kulbertis.

When first presented to voters in November, the millage received 2,652 votes against and 1,846 votes in support of the proposal. A second Gladstone Area School District operating millage was also defeated.

"Sometimes we go back for renewals that get denied at an earlier election date, and it's looked down upon in the community that you're making a second attempt," said Board Trustee Steve O'Driscoll.

"I don't really think the first attempt at this was given fair light in a national election when there's so much information in the election ... you try to get the information out about how simple this renewal is, and that it's not a tax increase."

School districts across Delta County suffered similar millage defeats during the November election. Of the five school millages presented for Delta County school districts, only one passed. The successful millage, an operating millage for Rapid River Schools, passed by less than 100 votes, with 800 for and 712 against.

"It's very difficult in the November cycle to be anything but amid the noise," said O'Driscoll.

The second failed Gladstone millage - which would have increased taxes on all property by 2 mills to offset mills lost by a required state reduction - will not appear on the special election ballot.

 
 

 

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