Millage Election

March 10, 2020 Millage Election

On October 23, 2019, the Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees unanimously approved placing a millage renewal and restoration on the March 10, 2020 primary election ballot.

The primary purpose of the ballot proposal is to “renew and restore” a 1.00 operating millage that was originally approved by voters in 2008. Revenue from this millage provides essential financial support to WCC’s programs and services.

A recent survey revealed that Washtenaw residents are very pleased with the programs and services provided by WCC. Survey respondents gave high marks to the quality of instruction, the variety of programs and services, and how well WCC prepares students for jobs and careers. In summary, the survey respondents asked WCC to “keep up the good work.”

The March 10 ballot proposal will allow WCC to continue supporting programs and services that have benefited students and other members of the Washtenaw community for more than 50 years.

The ballot proposal is designed to continue supporting “good work,” such as:

  • Generating $525 million in economic impact on Washtenaw County annually.
  • Providing everyone the opportunity to earn a certificate, degree or new skill to start, advance or change their career.
  • Providing students with an affordable option for completing their first two years of college before transferring to a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • Preparing Washtenaw County’s workforce for existing and emerging careers in industries like healthcare, cybersecurity, connected and autonomous mobility, and the convergence of IT and business.
  • Offering free classes to county residents 65 and older,
  • Supporting our restaurant, hotel, hospitality and retail commerce industries by hosting four international unions during the summer, creating $13 million in economic value to the county.

In short, the ballot proposal will help support WCC’s “good work” while helping the college position itself for the challenges and changes students and community members will face in the immediate future.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about WCC's March 10 ballot proposal

Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Voters residing within the boundaries of Washtenaw County will vote on a 1.00 operating millage proposal.
The primary purpose of the election is to seek voter approval of a 1.00 operating millage originally approved by voters in 2008. Revenue from this millage provides essential financial support to WCC’s programs and services.

A recent survey revealed that Washtenaw residents are very pleased with the programs and services provided by WCC. Survey respondents gave high marks to the quality of instruction, the variety of programs and services, and how well WCC prepares students for jobs and careers. In summary, the survey respondents asked WCC to “keep up the good work.”

The March 10 ballot proposal will allow WCC to continue supporting programs and services that have benefited students and other members of the Washtenaw community for more than 50 years.

The ballot proposal is designed to continue supporting “good work,” such as…

  • Generating $525 million in economic impact on Washtenaw County annually.
  • Providing everyone the opportunity to earn a certificate, degree or new skill to start, advance or change their career.
  • Providing students with an affordable option for completing their first two years of college before transferring to a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • Preparing Washtenaw County’s workforce for existing and emerging careers in industries like healthcare, cybersecurity, connected and autonomous mobility, and the convergence of IT and business.
  • Offering free classes to county residents 65 and older,
  • Supporting our restaurant, hotel, hospitality and retail commerce industries by hosting four international unions during the summer, creating $13 million in economic value to the county.

In short, the ballot proposal will help support the good work WCC has been doing for 50 years while helping the College position itself for the challenges and changes students and community members will face in the immediate future.

Although voters approved a 1.00 millage in 2008, the actual amount the college collects has fallen to 0.9718 mill over the years because of restrictions based on the State of Michigan's Proposal A, known as the “Headlee Amendment,” which limits property tax increases to the inflation rate. (See below under, “What is the Headlee Amendment?”). If voters approve the millage this March the rate will be RESTORED again to 1.00 mill in 2021 but will gradually decrease again over the years as the Proposal A restrictions are applied.

The 1978 Headlee Amendment requires local governments to lower property taxes if their aggregate property tax revenue goes up as the result of property values (and tax assessments) rising faster than inflation, unless voters approve the previous rate in a "Headlee rollback" election.

The 1994 Proposal A amendment capped annual increases in the assessed value of individual properties to the rate of inflation or five percent, whichever is less.

In essence, the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A keep property taxes from rising faster than inflation. In the case of WCC's millage and other millages, this means that if property values rise faster than inflation, only a portion of the entire millage rate can be collected until voters approve again.

If voters approve the 1.00 ballot proposal, the WCC tax rate will be the same as it was in 2008. Returning to this tax rate will require a renewal of 0.9718 mills and a restoration of 0.0282 mills. The renewal is about $97.18 a year for a $200,000 home in Washtenaw County.

The restoration is technically a tax increase and will cost a person living in a $200,000 house about 5.5¢ per week.

Real estate values tend to be higher in communities with school districts and community colleges that offer quality educational programs and services, and have up-to-date facilities. Property values tend to be lower in communities that do not offer a comprehensive curriculum or that have educational facilities that are out of date and poorly maintained.

Anyone who resides in Washtenaw County, will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day and is registered to vote can vote. Voters in Michigan can now register to vote up through and on Election Day (March 10.)

You can register to vote at any Secretary of State office or at the Clerk’s office where you reside. You can download a voter registration application at: www.michigan.gov/documents.
You need to update your voter registration if you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted. You can do this at any Secretary of State office or at the Clerk’s office where you reside.
You will vote at your regular precinct in the community where you reside. If you are unsure of your precinct, go to www.Michigan.gov/vote.

Due to the passage of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason. You can download a Michigan Absent Voter Ballot Application through www.Michigan.gov/vote.

After January 25, voters can complete their absentee ballot application and vote in one stop at their Clerk's Office. The whole process takes less than five minutes.

The Clerk will mail absentee ballot applications to residents on the permanent absentee voter list shortly after January 25.

Contact our Communications department at (734) 677-5295.

Joe Nader

 

Food for thought: Joe Nader credits WCC for his rise as chef to the Lions

“As Executive Chef of The Detroit Lions, the education and experience I gained while attending the WCC Culinary School have served me well. I often look back at the time in my life, and realize how fortunate I was to have access to the Chefs and practical training provided at WCC. It is imperative to the environment of a Community College to have real world education, experience and training. We had excellent facilities and labs such as Garrett’s Restaurant that provided that exact experience. I often recall my many hours spent in the kitchen and dining room at Garrett’s, and realize how much they enhanced my education. It was a very important factor in my career development, and I’m thankful for that. To everyone at WCC who makes this possible, keep up the good work.”