Districts go Three-for-Three on Tax Requests

Voters’ decisive approvals of tax renewal requests Tuesday will provide crucial ongoing support of day-to-day operations in two Kent ISD districts, as well as needed building and infrastructure improvements in one of them.

Residents approved non-homestead tax levies of 18 mills in Byron Center and Wyoming public schools. The 10-year levies apply to commercial and industrial properties and second homes, not primary residences. About 74 percent of voters cast yes votes in Byron Center, while about 69 percent supported Wyoming’s request.

In Byron Center, the state-authorized tax brings in about $4.6 million annually of the district’s $36 million operating budget. In Wyoming, it generates about $6 million yearly toward a $33 million budget.

By the Numbers…

Byron Center
Non-homestead operating millage renewal
Y: 3,678; N: 1,305

Building and site sinking fund renewal
Y: 3,527; N: 1,473

Wyoming
Non-homestead operating millage renewal
Y: 1,888; N: 836

Source: Kent County unofficial election results

About 70 percent of Byron Center voters also approved renewal of a 1-mill, 10-year sinking fund that generates some $1 million a year. The money pays for building improvements such as roofs, parking lots and heating and cooling systems as well as maintaining the community pool.

School chiefs for each district expressed gratitude for the strongly supportive votes, none of which raise residents’ current tax rates.

“I am humbled and do not take for granted to the continual support of the BC community for the top notch education of our kids,” said Byron Center Superintendent Dan Takens. “The approvals will allow the school district to continue to operate in an efficient and well-maintained manner.”

“I am pleased and thankful for the continued support from the community, particularly those most impacted (businesses and second homes),” said Wyoming Superintendent Tom Reeder. “We will continue to be good stewards of the public funds, and these funds will allow us to continue to maintain all our existing programs with a focus on even better outcomes.”

CONNECT

Byron Center asks for tax renewals

Wyoming Public Schools look for support

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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