Tuesday is Election Day in mid-Michigan, and several school districts are seeking millage increases.
School districts in Lansing, Dansville and Bath Township are asking constituents to approve a sinking fund. That’s a property tax homeowners pay for capital improvements, safety and technology upgrades. Lansing is seeking a 3 mill levy increase over 10 years while Dansville wants a 1 mill increase. Bath hopes to renew its current sinking fund over five years.
The rate hikes in Lansing and Dansville would help pay for security enhancements…a goal many schools are pursuing in the wake of Michigan’s new school safety law.
The state provides some grant money, but districts still shoulder much of the cost.
“That’s a big criticism of Michigan,” says Dr. Eric Scorsone, director of the Center For Local Government at Michigan State University. “The system creates inequality, because if you’re a poorer school district you have to pay for these improvements on a much smaller tax base that say, a Bloomfield or somewhere like that.”
In addition, the Mason Public Schools are seeking an operating millage renewal that only affects business properties.
The polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m.