The administration and the board of Imlay City Schools had a golden opportunity for a reasonable bond measure that would also have allowed our taxes to decline as scheduled—one that addresses the updates the schools really need but with concern for the taxpaying public too. Instead, they did what government always does: seek to spend all the money they can.
Our taxes are set to decline next year due to the expiration of the school millage that was approved to build the new high school 25-plus years ago. Instead, our board and administration are trying to slip one by the voters as a “No Tax Increase” bond of nearly $37 million. Preventing our taxes from declining like they are scheduled to is still a tax increase in our book.
The current proposal is mostly a waste of our money. The largest portion of the $36.8 million calls for more than $14 million for a Performing Arts Center which will sit vacant 90 percent of every day. Wouldn’t a simple multi-use facility be more practical and cost effective? One that could host performing arts functions on the limited dates those occur but also be used for other purposes too. Robotics and STEM programs, which are essential in preparing our kids for the future, need additional instructional space. Our gyms are also over-crowded with teams often competing for, or sharing, practices and games. A multi-use facility could be built for only a couple million at most and be built with a recessed stage so it could host performing arts functions also. Wouldn’t that be a better use of our tax dollars at a significantly lower cost?
The 6.5 mills bond measure means the average $200,000 home will continue to pay $650 in additional taxes per year, totaling $11,000 over the 20 year bond.
Contrary to what they say, you can support our schools and still vote no. Supporting the schools does not mean you need to rubber stamp every idea this administration and board want. Vote no to ensure your taxes decrease as promised, and then let them come back to voters with a more reasonable proposal.
—Taxpayers Against School Waste