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Mattawan School District Bond Measure (November 2011)

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A Mattawan School District Bond Measure was on the November 8, 2011 ballot in the Mattawan school district area which is in both Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties.

This measure was defeated
Kalamazoo

  • YES 2,184 (45%)
  • NO 2,657 (55%)Defeatedd[1]

Van Buren

  • YES 805
  • NO 1,156Defeatedd[2]

This was the second attempt by the school district for approval of a bond. This measure sought approval of a bond in the amount of $59.9 million in order to help pay for construction of two elementary school in the district as well as upgrading technology throughout the district. After the defeat in May, school officials scaled down the bond proposal from the initial $88 million. This new amount would have just provided funds for essential projects in the district and would have implemented a lower tax levy.[3] If approved, the repayment of the bond would have increased the local property taxes to a rate of 8 mills for the first year of the bond then would have slowly decreased over the life of the bond. Those opposed to the bond noted that the cost was still too high for residents to repay and that the school should scale back the projects even further. School officials countered that the new schools were needed in order to maintain the district's academic standing and have already scaled the bond back as far as was possible to still remain effective.[4]

A mailing sent out at the last minute to inform voters about this issue was noted as having a few errors which could mislead residents. The mailing noted that the tax would increase by $340 per $1,000 of assessed property, the author of the mailing noted that he was in error and the period making it $3.40 was forgotten. It also noted that the levy would increase on average by 4.5 mills over the repayment period of the bond, but in fact the repayment would decrease over the life of the bond. School officials are hopeful that residents will seek other sources and not rely on the information provided by the mailing.[5]

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References