Special election: Constantine, Sturgis & Vicksburg have proposals to consider

Illustration by Emma Crevier

Residents of Constantine, Sturgis, and Vicksburg will head to the polls today, Tuesday, May 3, to consider bond and millage proposals.

The following ballot language was approved by the St. Joseph County Election Commission during its meeting on March 2, 2022:

Constantine Public Schools

General Obligation Unlimited Tax Bond Proposal

Shall Constantine Public Schools, St. Joseph and Cass Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Thirty-Eight Million Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars ($38,800,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of:

erecting, furnishing and equipping additions to Eastside Elementary School; remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and re-equipping school buildings; acquiring and installing instructional technology and instructional technology equipment for school buildings; erecting, furnishing, and equipping a concession/restroom building and a bus garage; purchasing school buses; and remodeling, preparing, developing, improving, and equipping playgrounds, athletic facilities, and sites?

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2022, under current law, is 2.23 mills ($2.23 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation), for a 0.2 mill net increase over the prior year’s levy. The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 3.17 mills ($3.17 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

The school district expects to borrow from the State School Bond Qualification and Loan Program to pay debt service on these bonds. The estimated total principal amount of that borrowing is $2,950,209 and the estimated total interest to be paid thereon is $658,635. The estimated duration of the millage levy associated with that borrowing is nine (9) years and the estimated computed millage rate for such levy is 7 mills. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.

The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $13,805,000. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $-0-.

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)

City of Sturgis

Street and Sidewalk Improvement Renewal Millage

Should the City of Sturgis levy a renewal three (3) mill property tax for a period of ten (10) years commencing in calendar year 2023 to be used exclusively for street and sidewalk reconstruction, repair, and improvement projects within the City as approved by the Sturgis City Commission? It is estimated that this renewal proposal would produce revenue of $746,316.68 during the first calendar year.

Vicksburg Community Schools

Operating Millage Proposal

This proposal will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of not to exceed 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its full revenue per pupil foundation allowance and restores millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963.

Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Vicksburg Community Schools, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph Counties, Michigan, be renewed by 18.0902 mills ($18.0902 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 5 years, 2023 to 2027, inclusive, and also be increased by .5 mill ($0.50 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 6 years, 2022 to 2027, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and 18 mills are levied in 2022 is approximately $2,085,000 (this millage is to renew millage that will expire with the 2022 levy and to restore millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and will be levied only to the extent necessary to restore that reduction)?

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