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Schools seek operating, community rec funds

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By Scott Sullivan

Editor

Saugatuck Public Schools will ask voters to approve operating and community recreation millages that essentially renew ones passed two years ago.

These should not be mistaken for building bond proposals turned down by voters recently.

The operating proposal will ask voters to again renew an 18-mill non-homestead property tax on businesses, second homes and commercial property to fully fund the district, as prescribed by state law. It will not apply to owner-occupied residences. The proposal also includes a previously-approved 1.5-mill hold-harmless levy for operating purposes on all property.

The combination of 18 mills on non-homestead property and the hold-harmless levy would generate approximately $6,345,221 for the 2020-21 school year, approximately 68 percent of the district’s operating budget.

If this proposal does not pass, the State of Michigan would not replace the $6,345,221 of funding, which would effectively limit the ability of the local schools to operate moving forward.

The second proposal seeks a 3-year renewal to allow the schools to continue to operate the community recreation program through 2022.

The millage rate would remain the same 0.25 mills approved by voters approved in 2017 and would raise approximately $161,528 in 2020-21 to operate said program. This equates to 100 percent of community recreation funding.