Letter: Non-homestead millage renewal invests in students, Detroit

The Detroit News

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting families in Detroit and across the country, these have been challenging times for schools, students, educators and families. Despite these challenges, the Detroit Public Schools Community District has remained focused on our core mission of educating and empowering our students and our community.

The school district has created online education options for tens of thousands of Detroit students, served over 1 million nutritious meals to Detroit families and worked with community partners to try to close the digital divide so Detroit students have the same opportunities to learn, grow and achieve.

As the board chair, I believe we will emerge from this crisis even stronger. This is important because strong schools are the cornerstone of strong neighborhoods and a stronger Detroit.

This August, Detroit voters have a unique opportunity to support DPSCD by renewing the Detroit Public Schools non-homestead millage. The renewal does not increase current taxes and only applies to owners of rental properties, business properties and vacation homes. This tax does not cost homeowners a single cent in new taxes. 

Iris Taylor, DPSCD school board chair

By investing in our schools through this millage renewal, we can continue to attract and retain families and businesses in Detroit, foster strong neighborhoods and keep our property values strong.

Strong schools also strengthen our local economy, which will help continue Detroit’s economic comeback and make our city an even better place to live, raise a family, work or launch a business. 

By passing this millage renewal, we will continue to receive state aide, which requires each District in Michigan to levy an 18 mill tax on non-homestead property.

DPSCD, under its elected board and through the leadership of Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, has a proven track record of responsible stewardship and fiscal transparency. We undergo annual independent financial audits which are available to the public online. Every penny in this fiscally responsible proposal will be tracked, and monthly financial reports will continue to be posted to our website to ensure transparency, accountability and that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

A strong DPSCD is the foundation of a stronger Detroit. I encourage all Detroit voters to support this important proposal because the future of our students and city depends on it.

Iris Taylor, chair

Detroit Public Schools Community District Board of Education