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Supt. John Jarpe: School issues on Nov. 6 ballot

Published 11:02pm Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Here is a Q&A for Brandywine voters for the upcoming election.

Q: What school items are on the ballot for Brandywine voters?
A: We have two board of education members running unopposed, Janice Exner and Robb DeJonge.

Q: Are there other school ballot issues?
A: Yes, we have renewal of 18 mills for non-homestead school taxes.

Q: What does that mean?
A: For nearly 20 years, we have had this tax. This is a tax on businesses, rental property and second homes owned by people who might not live here year-round.

Q: Why do we have this tax?
A: Most school money comes from the state. Some comes from local homeowner property taxes, some from the U.S. government, and what we’re voting on, comes from property that is non-residential. When “Proposal A” became part of the Michigan constitution in 1994, this is the way school funding was set up. We do not vote on our regular home property tax, but this tax we have to renew every several years.

Q: What happens if the millage loses and most people vote “No”?
A: If we do not have the money we get from this renewal to help run schools, we would have to make cuts to our budget. These 18 mills cover $1,370,712 or 11 percent of our budget.

Q: What happens if the millage passes and most people vote “Yes”?
A: There would be no change to taxes collected for the schools, since we are not asking for a tax increase. We would also not have to ask for another renewal for five years.

Q: Who can vote on this?
A: Brandywine Community School District residents who are registered to vote.

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