MAPS operational millage on upcoming ballot

The vote to renew Marquette Area Public Schools operational millage is two weeks away. If it passes it would ensure one-third of the district’s $27 million budget.

When the state changed its funding formula back in 1994, it banked on the ability of school districts to go out and publicly raise 18 mills. If districts, like MAPS, were unable to do so, they would have that much less money to keep current programs in place.

“It will go to support every program, every school, every teacher; it pays to turn the lights on. It pays for the gas. It pays for staff salaries. It pays to keep us up and running,” explained Bill Saunders, Marquette Area Public Schools’ Interim Superintendent.

There would not be an increase in property taxes for a homeowner’s primary residence. The tax would only qualify for non-homestead properties, including second homes, and businesses. The proposed millage is not a bond issue request, and it would not raise any more money or create any more debt than it has in years past. It would generate about S8.4 million to maintain the district’s status quo.

“The strategic planning committees actually tapped us as the destination district. When you think about it, Marquette Area Public Schools really has become a destination district. We service the most students in the Upper Peninsula. There are 3,150 students enrolled here at MAPS. We attract close to 300 school of choice students each year from surrounding districts,” Saunders added.

The operational millage will be on the August 6th ballot. If you’re out of town, you can contact your township or city clerk’s office for an absentee ballot.