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Reese School District issues explanation of sinking fund request in the Nov 5 election
Tue, 08 Oct 2019 10:45:00 EDT
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Reese Public School District officials issued an explanation of the issues the district will have on the Tuesday, Nov. 5 ballot.
There will be a request for a sinking fund. A sinking fund is a savings account into which a local school district can deposit voter-approved local millage revenue in order to pay cash for projects or repairs as they arise rather than having to borrow through short-term notes or long-term bonds.
Sinking funds provide districts with a cost-effective alternative to borrowing or bonding for some expenditures because they require none of the associated interest costs or legal fees.There will be no increase their sinking fund.
The primary purpose of the five-year sinking fund proposal is to finance ongoing repairs in the district. Sinking funds have been used in Reese schools since 1996.
Using sinking fund monies, the district has been able to repair buildings and facilities and keep them up-to-date, which has then allowed the district to use more operating funds for educating its students.
Projects that have been completed since the sinking fund passed in 1996 are demolition of the middle school, renovation of the 6-12 building, roofing, bleachers, concession stand at the football field and softball field, sidewalks, fencing, carpet, renovation of the learning commons, replace boilers at the 6-12 building, and the construction of middle school/high school storage shed.
The mill rate is the amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of a property. The mill rate is based on "mills." It is a figure that represents the amount per $1,000 of the assessed value of the property, which is used to calculate the amount of property tax.
The following is the ballot proposal language voters will see in November:
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property in Reese Public Schools, Tuscola, Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan, be increased by and the board of education be authorized to levy not to exceed 1.5 mills ($1.50 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of five years, 2020 to 2024, inclusive, to create a sinking fund for the purchase of real estate for sites for and the construction or repair of school buildings, for school security improvements, for the acquisition or upgrading of technology and all other purposes authorized by law; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2020 is approximately $369,900?
Why does the ballot language say increase and not renewal?
With the passing of (HB 4388) as Public Act 319 in 2016, the district will be allowed to use sinking fund dollars for security improvements and technology. The passing of this important legislation will help us secure our buildings for a safer learning environment and give us the most updated technology.
Under the prior law, sinking fund could only be used for the construction or repair of school buildings or to purchase real estate. PA 319 changes that. However, we can't use renewal in the ballot language due to the law change, even though it is not an increase over the previous sinking fund.
Why does the ballot language say purchase of real estate?
School officials, with legal counsel recommendation, feels it's important to include all possible opportunities under the current law. However, Reese schools does not have any intention of purchasing farmland or property with sinking fund dollars.
Sinking fund cannot be used to pay for salaries, maintenance, operational costs (other than building repairs), school buses, or other equipment, except for instructional technology and security equipment.
Voting will be done at the normal locations in Merritt, Blumfield and Buena Vista townships.
And, Denmark precincts one and two, Gilford, Fairgrove, Juniata will all vote at Denmark Township Hall.