By LINDA LOBECK
KINGSFORD - The Breitung Township Schools Board of Education has approved language for two millage proposals that will go before voters during the November general election.
The first proposal is for a renewal of the operating millage. This approval would allow the school district to continue to levy 18 mills on all non-Homestead property. The current operating millage will expire with the 2014 tax levy.
The renewal will be for a 20-year period, from 2015 to 2013.
According to Supt. Craig Allen, this millage will continue to provide money for operating purposes for the school district. The state pays the foundation allowance per student based on schools getting the operating millage on all non-Homestead property.
When this is levied in 2015, it will generate approximately $3.3 million, Allen said. If it's not passed, the school district would lose the same amount from its operating budget.
A second proposal going before the voters in November is a building and site sinking fund tax levy. This would be assessed against all property in the Breitung Township School District. Approval will allow the district to levy up to .65 mills for a period of 10 years - from 2014 to 2023
Allen noted that depending on the needs of the school district, the board can levy anywhere from zero to .65 mills each year.
At its max of .65 mills, this levy would generate less that two percent of the school district budget - up to $323,334 if it is levied in 2014.
"This would allow us to maintain what we have now and into the future. It's a small amount to have available for upgrades, repairs or things that come up outside of the budget. In the past, the board had put money into a public improvement fund., but that hasn't been possible in more than five years. It's been basically money in and money out and nothing to put away for future needs," Allen noted.
He added that the way that school districts are now financed, they don't have the ability to set aside money for these needs to continually maintain the facilities. Many other school districts in the state have had to go out for a millage proposal that sets up a sinking fund tax levy for that purpose.
"We've been so lucky with the bond proposal passing to be able to make improvements on all of these things we needed to do. We now have excellent facilities that we don't want to see them deteriorate in the future. This is an extremely modest amount of money that can go a long way to keeping things running on the front end rather than having to deal with them on the back end when it's critical," Allen said.
The board has also been talking about a 10-15 year plan to keep the facilities upgraded in to the future. "They are taking into account what is needed in the long-term and using the money wisely with this type of planning," Allen added.
Linda Lobeck's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org