MOISD millage voted down

Finch says economy, uncertainty factors in opposition of tax

MOISD – The Regional Enhancement Millage was voted down by a margin of 416 votes, which leaves area schools to search for an alternative way of funding building and transportation upgrades.

In Mecosta and Osceola counties, 4,960 voters hit the polls on Tuesday, although not all voted on the Regional Enhancement Millage. The millage was voted down 2,447 to 2,031 overall, with opposition from 51 percent in Mecosta County and 64 percent in Osceola County.

“The economy is a major variable, and the economic uncertainty is part of the problem,” said Curt Finch, superintendent of the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District. “Lansing is not helping in giving an indication of if they’ll support (the schools) or not.”

Reed City Area Public Schools district residents had the strongest opposition to the enhancement millage, voting it down 642 to 320.

“(Districts) are going to have to cut some more,” Finch said. “It’s just going to be more of the same.”

The 0.75 mill tax would have applied to all homeowners within the MOISD, raising a total of $7.26 million for local schools over five years. The millage needed an overall majority vote to pass.

Under the Regional Enhancement Millage, a homeowner would have paid $37.50 each year for a home with a taxable value of $50,000.

Voters also rejected the MOISD’s Classroom Connect millage in 2011, which was a five-year, 1.25 mill tax. The 2011 proposal was voted down by a two-thirds majority.

Also on Tuesday’s ballot was the renewal of operating millages for Morley Stanwood Community Schools and Big Rapids Public Schools. Morley Stanwood’s millage passed 574 to 208, and Big Rapids’ millage passed 759 to 332.

Regional Enhancement Millage results

Mecosta County, 3,535 total voters

Yes – 1,711

No – 1,805

Osceola County, 1,425 total voters

Yes – 520

No – 905