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Washtenaw Community College Millage Proposal Will Appear On March 10th Primary Election

In addition to voting for a presidential candidate during Tuesday's primary election in Michigan, local voters will also vote on a Washtenaw Community College Millage Renewal and Restoration proposal.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan has the details.

Washtenaw Community College wants to levy 1 mill during the next 10 years for operation purposes.  The proposal comes with a Headlee Amendment override, and, if approved, the millage would generate $17.5 million in 2021.  WCC President Dr. Rose Bellanca says a similar millage voters approved in 2008 has played a major role when it comes to tuition costs.

President Dr. Rose Bellanca: For in-district residents has not gone up for the last three years, two years. It could be two or three. And it's not going up this year either.

Ali Kurmasha is a student at WCC and plans to transfer to a four-year university in the near future.  He would like voters to renew the operating millage, so WCC can continue offering essential services to students.  Kurmasha explains how he's benefited from the services in the past.

Ali Kurmasha: If I'm applying for scholarships, for example, I would write down an essay for the scholarship, and then I would go to the writing center. The writing center would help me edit my writing so that it's more articulate. And then I would go to career services to build up my resume.

Claire Sparklin is a professor of communication at WCC.  She explains another benefit of renewing the millage.

Claire Sparklin: I have one student this semester who has a vision impairment, and so, services here on campus allow her to be able to read our textbooks using different technologies.

If the millage is renewed, it will cost homeowners about $97 a year for a $200,000 home in Washtenaw County.

Ballot Language:


WASHTENAW COMMUNITY COLLEGE MILLAGE RENEWAL AND RESTORATION This proposal authorizes Washtenaw Community College to levy 1.00 mill for operating purposes for 10 years. Of the 1.00 mill, 0.9718 represents a renewal of the 1.00 mill authorization approved by the electors in 2008, which will expire with the 2020 tax levy and 0.0282 mill represents a restoration of the portion of the same authority which was reduced by application of the Headlee Amendment.

Shall the limitation on the total amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property within the Washtenaw Community College district, State of Michigan, be increased by 1.00 mill ($1.00 per $1,000 of Taxable Valuation) for a period of 10 years, the years 2021 through 2030 inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes?  Of the 1.00 mill, 0.9718 represents a renewal of that portion of the 1.00 mill authorization previously approved by the electors as reduced by operation of the Headlee Amendment, and 0.0282 represents new additional millage in the amount equal to the amount reduced by operation of the Headlee Amendment.  It is estimated that the 1.00 mill would raise $17,500,000 for the College when first levied in 2021.

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu

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