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Voters in Okemos School District will see two millages on the May ballot

Posted at 6:58 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 18:58:35-04

Okemos Public School District is putting two millage proposals in front of voters in the May 4 election.

Superintendent John Hood said neither of the millages will increase taxes on those living in the district.

"It’s just asking people to continue to pay what they’re currently paying,” Hood said.

The first is a building and sinking site fund that Hood said would generate about $1.3 million a year for repairs in the district over the next decade.

“Things like roofs, carpet, asphalt, pavement repair, if a boiler goes down," Hood said. "We can also use it for some special construction projects where we’ve re-purposed an old pool area.”

Hood said the district needs the sinking fund to avoid taking money out of the general fund for repairs.

“If we don’t have this $1.3 million a year funneled in, then it has to come out of our general fund budget," Hood said. "Which means we have to look at how are we going to pay for textbooks, how are we going to pay for staffing, how are we going to pay for all the other education programs we use.”

This will be the third time the sinking fund will be on the ballot, but it isn't considered a renewal because security and technology will be added to what's covered by the money.

“We’ve gone to our tax payers in the past to do just like a technology bond and now we can have a dual purpose and won’t have to go back because we can build that in structurally to the sinking fund money," Hood said.

The second millage on the ballot is a non-homestead millage renewal.

“That includes only land, buildings, rental properties, vacation homes," said Hood. "Those things that haven’t been designated as a primary residence.”

For every $1,000 of taxable value, the district will receive a maximum of $18 annually. Hood said that's about 17 percent of the districts annual budget with $9.1 million coming from the tax assessment.

If passed, both millages will be in effect for 10 years ending in 2032.

Voters are reminded they can register to vote beforehand or on election day at the polls. Requests to have an absentee ballot sent by mail are due April 30. Absentee voters can also pick up a ballot at the township clerk's office.

For more information on the election visit the Meridian Township website.

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