From the superintendent’s desk: Operating millage on May 8 ballot

By Roger Cole

Morley Stanwood Community Schools

Morley Stanwood Community Schools is holding its bi-annual approval of its operating millage renewal proposal for the next two school years. This year, the vote will be in the spring. The information below explains what the bi-annual election is for, how it works, where to vote and why it is so important.

I cannot encourage anyone to vote “yes,” or “no” for that matter. It is against the law for me to do so. What I can do is provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. I believe the following information does that. However, I would like to just take a moment to remind everyone of the incredible opportunity we have in our country to vote and encourage all of you to do so every time you have the opportunity. I’ve not served in the armed forces, so I can’t say that I’ve worked to protect the freedoms we have. So the best I can do is to thank those who have and those who are. But, I believe voting is more than just an “incredible opportunity” or a right. I believe it is our responsibility. For what it’s worth, that’s my opinion. Please take time this spring, and any other time there is an election, to do so.

Millage renewal election: Tuesday, May 8 — Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The bi-annual election is to consider the renewal of the 18-mill levy on non-homestead property.

What is the purpose of the 18-mill levy on non-homestead property? This millage provides local dollars used to support general fund activities of all kinds. This is how we fund our schools. Is this a new tax? No. This millage was instituted along with the passage of Proposal A in 1994. It has been in effect every year since that time because it has been approved by the voters every time it came up for renewal.

Who pays this property tax? This tax applies to owners of non-homestead properties such as businesses and second homes. It does not apply to homeowner’s property where you live.

What happens if it doesn’t pass? The school district would lose approximately $1.5 million in annual revenues.

Where do I vote? Elections are held at township offices. The townships have informed the school of the following voting stations:

• Aetna Township at 196 North Cass, Morley

• Austin Township at 14132 Piece Road, Stanwood

• Big Prairie Township will vote at 5160 South Croton Hardy Drive, Newaygo

• Big Rapids Township at 14212 Northland Drive, Big Rapids

• Colfax Township at 14428 157 th Ave, Big Rapids

• Deerfield Township at 396 East 4 th Street, Morley

• Goodwell Township will vote at 1390 North Elm Ave, White Cloud

• Mecosta Township at 19729 Eleven Mile Rd, Big Rapids

• Winfield Township at 7569 Gravel Ridge Road, Lakeview

Please exercise your right to vote.

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