Not supporting sinking millage

My husband and I have resided in Orion Township for 23 years. We supported school millages that built the new high school, middle and elementary schools. However, we cannot support this new millage on a “10-year sinking fund”. What a strange and negative name for a fund supposedly designated for maintenance. We also cannot buy into the blame of the State allocation of local schools’ “general fund” and that the “general fund” is only used for labor costs. We’ve spent 40 years working in private, public, and non-profit sectors. A company’s general fund is allocated to cover all costs of operation, which includes maintenance. Due to new millages, our property taxes have increased. Our wages and benefits certainly have not kept that pace.
We realize student enrollment may be in decline, and that’s how the district obtains its tax dollars, but that is no different than a company selling fewer products in an economic downturn. When downturns occur, businesses have to make hard choices, such as pay freezes, benefit reductions, combining and/or selling facilities, and even layoffs. My husband and I have been victims of hard times in our 40-year working careers. Unfortunately hard decisions must be made. One of which is NOT going to residents for more tax dollars. The District must learn how to operate and design a long-range plan within the general fund that covers all costs of operations in good times and bad. Businesses certainly have to. People certainly have to. We, tax paying residents, have a finite income unless we chose to work two or three jobs. With the huge onslaught of new residential development suddenly occurring in Orion Township, the school district will be getting a big injection of new tax dollars very soon.
We cannot afford another school millage and encourage a NO vote on August 2nd.
Denise Mertz
Orion Township resident

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