2023 Bond Proposal
- What is a bond proposal and how can funds from a bond be spent?
- Why is Northwest pursuing a bond proposal this year?
- Where is the .21 Mills generated in this bond proposal?
- What are the key projects in this bond proposal?
- Why have the proposed key projects been identified as priorities for the district?
- How do I register to vote?
- Where and when will the vote occur?
- How are Michigan schools funded?
- What is a mill?
- How does our current millage rate compare to other districts?
- Who can vote in this bond proposal election?
- Where can I get information about voting? (Such as registering to vote and applying for an absentee
- Where do I go to vote?
- Do I need to update my voter registration?
- Can I vote by absentee ballot?
- When do we vote?
- If approved, would the bond proposal have any impact on our current operational budget?
- Can I vote if I rent a house?
A bond proposal is how a public school district can ask its voters for authorization to borrow money and levy taxes to pay for capital expenditures. Voter-approved bond funds can be spent on items like new construction, additions, remodeling, site improvements, furnishings, equipment, and technology. Funds raised through the sale of bonds cannot be used on operational expenses such as employee salaries and benefits, school supplies, and textbooks. Bond funds must be kept separate from operating funds and must be audited by an independent auditing firm, pursuant to State law.
In 2013, the Northwest Community approved two bond proposals that generated a total of $40,000,000 for the Northwest District. With the funds generated in the 2013 bonds, the entire proposed project scope was completed. The project scope included a new elementary school and improvements to each building in the NW district. Through significant value engineering of the provided funds, an additional 7 classrooms, HS weight room, HS wrestling room, and renovations of building offices were completed. This year, in 2023, Northwest Community Schools has an opportunity to generate funding for district wide building improvements with a -0- mill net increase over the prior year's levy. This means that the rate of mills levied in 2022 will remain the same in 2023 should the Northwest community pass an August 8, 2023, bond proposal.
After a bond proposal is approved by voters, the millage rate declines after several years due to bond repayments and taxable value growth. Prior to the initial decline in mills levied, school districts have the opportunity to propose a bond that would generate funding with a -0- mill net increase from the prior year’s tax levy. For Northwest, this means that .21 mills of the total debt millage would be allocated to new bonds should the Aug. 8, 2023 bond proposal be accepted by voters.
The proposed plan features classroom additions at NWEE, NWEL, NWMS and NWHS, district-wide restroom renovations, district-wide security upgrades, renovations of the NWMS and NWHS locker rooms, expansion of the technical education wing at NWHS, new band and choir space at NWHS, and a new cafeteria/multi-purpose space at NWMS.
Safety & Security Upgrades:
With the rising need for additional security in schools, the proposed project would provide funding for camera upgrades and updates to the secure entrances in each school.
In the past, Northwest has utilized rooms such as the library and teachers lounge to accommodate larger classroom sizes. Additional classrooms at NWEE, NWEL, and NWMS would return these spaces to their intended use.
The proposed project includes renovations to outdated restrooms, some dating back to the 1960’s, as well as several new restrooms near, or in, the classroom additions.
NEW Band & Choir Space:
The NW band and choir program are among the top in the state. The proposed plan features the addition of new, larger, band and choir spaces that would include added storage and practice space for our Mountie musicians.
Technical Education Space:
The new band/choir space at NWHS leaves room for the existing band/choir rooms to be remodeled and utilized for the growing technical education programs such as Robotics, Manufacturing, and other STEM courses.
Visit Michigan.gov/vote to register to vote online. You can register to vote by mail beginning May 25, 2023 to participate in the August 8, 2023 election. Individuals may also register in-person at their local clerk’s office through August 8, 2023, with the required documentation. For assistance in obtaining the address of your local clerk, visit Michigan.gov/vote.
Tuesday, August 8, 2023 is election day, but absentee voting can occur leading up to that date. All registered voters may cast an absentee voter ballot by mail. Voters may also cast a ballot at the polling location established by their city/township. If you have questions or do not know where you vote, please contact your city/township office. Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, August 8, 2023
The state of Michigan provides funding to school districts on a per-pupil basis, based on the cost of educating the average pupil per year. The state of Michigan does not provide dedicated funding to address facilities. There are two ways that school districts can raise money dedicated for facility improvements: levying sinking funds and selling bonds.
Yes. Since voter approval of Proposal 3 in November 2018, registered voters do not need a reason to vote by absentee ballot. You can request an absentee ballot application from your Clerk’s Office or by going online to https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/AVApplication/Index.
Voters will see the following language on the Aug. 8 Ballot:
NORTHWEST COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Shall Northwest Community Schools, Jackson and Ingham Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Twenty-One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($21,500,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of:
erecting, equipping, and furnishing classroom additions and a multipurpose room; remodeling, furnishing, and refurnishing and equipping and re-equipping school buildings, including for security improvements; acquiring and installing instructional technology; and preparing, developing, and improving sites?
The following is for informational purposes only:
The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2023 is 0.21 mill ($0.21 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a -0- mill net increase over the prior year's levy. The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is twenty (20) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 1.36 mills ($1.36 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).
The school district does not expect to borrow from the State to pay debt service on the bonds. The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $26,130,000. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $0. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.
(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)