ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN)- Election Day is two weeks away. We commonly see millages for school districts but for this election there’s one for a community college on the ballot.
Bay College in Escanaba is asking voters in Delta County to approve a 20-year .8924 millage. The money would be used for infrastructure on campus such as heating, cooling, lighting, water, safety and security systems.
Dr. Laura Coleman, the President of Bay College tells me that insufficient state funding has not provided adequate money to pay for these large capital needs.
“In 2000, the state appropriations made up 52% of our budget and the students picked up 32% in tuition and fees and property tax was 16%,” said Dr. Coleman. “In 2018, the state appropriations made up 35% of the budget and the students with tuition and fees picked up an addition 49% and then the property tax remained at 16%.”
If this passes, people with a house worth $200,000 would pay an additional $7.44 a month. People with a home worth 80,000 would pay $2.97 a month more in taxes.
If this does not pass, Dr. Coleman said they would try to put it on the ballot again, but ultimately if that doesn’t work she says they will have to significantly increase tuition.