Voters to decide school tax proposals Tuesday

May 2, 2016

Erin Sorenson's third and fourth grade classroom at Westwoods Elementary School in Traverse City.
Credit David Cassleman

Dozens of school districts across Michigan are asking voters to approve tax proposals on Tuesday.

In northern Michigan, Elk Rapids Public Schools has a technology and safety bond on the ballot. Leland Public Schools has a similar bond proposal.

Don Wotruba, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Boards, says these elections can have significant effects on schools.

“What happens with a bond issue or a sinking fund millage can impact how many kids are going to be in their school next year,” Wotruba says.

Tuesday is one of four dates this year when school boards are allowed to propose taxes.  

Districts used to have more leeway to choose election dates, until the state legislature changed the law. But Wotruba says election reform hasn’t changed the rate at which bond proposals pass.

“It ebbs and flows but on average about 50 percent pass and 50 percent fail,” Wotruba says.