Proposal 1 and how it Impacts Michigan Public Schools

Dear Families, Community Members, Staff, and Students,

Do you have Tuesday, May 5, 2015 circled on your calendar?  You may just now be hearing about Proposal 1 and wondering why there would be a ballot proposal asking voters to increase our sales tax to improve Michigan roads.  Last fall, our Legislature voted to put the measure before voters.

Some folks say that Proposal 1 is too complex because it involves Michigan’s roads, Michigan’s schools, the sales tax, and even earned income tax credits for low income families.  If you are a little confused, you are not alone.  Here are some things that I’ve learned about Proposal 1:

  • Proposal 1 increases the sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents per dollar, bringing our state sales tax in line with other sales taxes paid in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio.
  • Proposal 1 substitutes the sales tax on gasoline with a funding stream that directs all tax dollars spent at the pump to transportation purposes.
  • Right now the sales tax on fuel provides more than $630 million per year for schools.Proposal 1 replaces the money devoted to schools and prohibits the Legislature from diverting school aid funds to four-year universities, which have received $200 million or more from the school aid fund each year since 2011.
  • Proposal 1 would also provide additional dollars for schools through the increase in the sales tax, as most of sales tax revenues are devoted to public education.
  • A part of the sales tax on fuel also goes to revenue sharing, to help our local municipalities pay for police, fire and other services. Proposal 1 would replace those revenues through the sales tax increase.
  • Many people fear low-income families will bear the brunt of the Proposal 1 sales tax increase because the one-cent increase would represent a larger portion of their family income.Proposal 1 restores a reduction in the earned income tax credit to offset the burden of additional sales taxes on families at or near the poverty level.
  • Proposal 1 creates stability in the School Aid Fund.Under Proposal 1 the School Aid Fund is projected to get an increase of $300 million. This would mean $202 per pupil or $692,860 to Northview.
     

Proposal 1 gives tax payers three strong guarantees:

  1. Every penny in state taxes we pay at the pump is guaranteed to go to transportation.We can put an end to the shell game of politics that shift gas taxes to non-transportation purposes.
     
  2. Every penny in the School Aid Fund is guaranteed in the constitution to fund education where it helps our kids the most: our K-12 schools and community colleges.No more shell games with education funding.
     
  3. Taxpayers get guarantees from the road builders.If their roads don’t last, road builders pay to fix them, not taxpayers.
     

There are many resources on the i\\Internet published by groups that both support and oppose Proposal 1.  A list of Frequently Asked Questions and a Proposal 1 Fact Sheet may be found on our web page – nvps.net.

Also, I will be holding informational meetings on the following dates.  All meetings will be held in the Board Room at the Northview Administration Building (4365 Hunsberger).  Please consider attending.

Monday, April 13, 2015           4:00 – 5:00 p.m.          Administration Building

Monday, April 20, 2015           7:00 – 8:00 p.m.          Administration Building

Wednesday, April 22, 2015     7:00 – 8:00 p.m.          Administration Building

Monday, April 27, 2015           7:30 – 8:30 p.m.          Administration Building

As you can see, Proposal 1 is complex because it was constructed to make sure schools and municipalities do not suffer because taxes paid at the pump would be dedicated to repairing and maintaining our roads and bridges.

Last year, the House of Representatives passed a road funding package that would divert over $880 million from the School Aid Fund.  In Northview this would mean a reduction of $593 per pupil or $2,033,990 less (loss from possible funding and moving funds out of the School Aid Fund to pay for roads).  This package/idea for road funding is still an option pending the outcome of the May 5 vote.

This proposal has a direct impact on the roads in Northview and on the Northview Public Schools

I am asking you to take time to study Proposal 1, talk with those in your circles of influence, and, above all else, VOTE ON TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015.

Sincerely and With Great Respect,

Mike

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