Special Education Millage 2015Voters to decide special education millage proposal
On Tuesday, May 5, voters in the Kalamazoo RESA service area will be asked to consider a six-year, 1.5 mill property tax to help fund the cost of special education in our local schools. Local school districts are mandated by state and federal law to provide special education services. When current millage dollars do not cover those costs, local districts must use their general education funds to pay for these services. In the Kalamazoo RESA service area, our local schools are paying $11 million for unreimbursed special education costs. That means there are fewer dollars to support programs for all students in our local schools. The special education millage has been proposed because these services are underfunded. The shortfall comes from several sources, most notably the drop in local property values. This proposal would allow Kalamazoo RESA to reimburse local districts for the shortage in special education funding.
A homeowner would pay based on the taxable value of their home, which is typically about half of their market value. For example, a home with a market value of $100,000 and a taxable value of $50,000 would pay $75 per year.Any registered voter who resides in a school district within the Kalamazoo RESA service area can vote. This includes Climax-Scotts, Comstock, Galesburg-Augusta, Gull Lake, Kalamazoo, Parchment, Portage, Schoolcraft and Vicksburg. The last day to register to vote is April 6. To find out where you vote, contact your city or township clerk’s office.