Macomb County: Van Dyke school tax falls just short

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Every vote counts.

That cliche proved true Tuesday for voters in the Van Dyke Public Schools district in Warren, where a 10-year, 1-mill tax failed by just three votes, 642-639, according to final, unofficial results.

The issue, one of three before Macomb County voters, would raise $354,000 a year for building, security and technology improvements and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $50 a year.

Voters in the Roseville Community Schools, meanwhile, approved a $59.4 million bond issue Tuesday.

The 20-year bond issue, approved 55 percent to 45 percent, will raise money for facility, equipment, technology and transportation upgrades. The district estimates the owner of a $100,000 home will pay $125 a year to retire the bond issue.

Voters Tuesday also approved a 20-year, 1.464-mill replacement operating millage for Macomb Community College that funds roughly a quarter of the school’s budget.

Nearly 53 percent of the county's voters OK'd the measure.

The MCC proposal combines technology and operating millages originally passed in 2000 and restores the effective rate that was assessed before seven Headlee rollbacks reduced the millage rate to 1.4072 mills.

Officials said approving the proposal will raise an extra $1.5 million a year for the college while increasing the taxes on a $100,000 home by about $3 a year.

The millage raises about $36 million a year for MCC and is the school’s second-largest funding source after tuition and fees. The college’s 2017-18 budget is $135.4 million.

Jennifer Haase, chairwoman of the MCC Board of Trustees, had said even with the proposed increase, Macomb’s millage rate would remain the third-lowest among Michigan’s 28 community colleges.

“What’s great about Macomb is that our tuition is a quarter less than any Michigan public university, and about 80 percent of students leave debt-free,” she said. “Voters know an investment such as this pays off in helping our county residents and Metro Detroit community go to work and get good jobs and contribute to our future.”