School election – Gladstone

GLADSTONE – Residents will have a second opportunity to weigh in on a Gladstone school millage renewal which failed during the November General Election during a special election this Tuesday.

The proposal would allow the school district to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills ($18.00 on each $1,000 of taxable value) on all property except principal residences and other property exempted by law.

“The vast majority of people are exempt because they live in their primary residence,” said Gladstone Superintendent Jay Kulbertis.

The millage is required for the district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance. If the proposal is approved and levied, the school district will collect approximately $1,097,402 in 2014 for operating purposes.

Funds received from the millage would only represent a portion of the more than $1 million collected by the district. The rest of the funding would be given to the district by the state. However, if the renewal fails the district will receive no funding from the state’s foundation allowance.

“It this renewal doesn’t pass the state says we’ll have to do without,” said Kulbertis.

The funding equates to between 15 and 20 jobs in the district. While a failed renewal may not mean 15 to 20 job losses, the district will be forced to make cuts which could include layoffs.

“If we’re looking at how to balance our budget absolutely everything we do is on the table,” said Kulbertis.

If passed, the 18 mills will be collected for a period of nine years – 2014 to 2022 inclusive – on second homes, rental properties, and business properties.

“What this does doesn’t change any tax rates. It just sets them to expire some other time in the future,” said Kulbertis.

The majority of the millage, 17.5669 mills, is a renewal of a millage which will expire with the 2013 tax levy, and .4331 mill is a restoration of millage lost as a result of a millage reduction required by the Michigan Constitution of 1963. The proposal was defeated in November by a vote of 2,652 to 1,846.