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.)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a bond proposal and how can funds from a bond be spent?
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.
Why is Northwest pursuing a bond proposal this year?
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.
Where is the .21 Mills generated in this 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.
What are the key projects in this bond proposal?
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.
How do I register to vote?
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.
Where and when will the vote occur?
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
How are Michigan schools funded?
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.
What is a mill?
A mill is equal to $1 per every $1,000 of taxable property valuation (not the market value of a home; homeowners can refer to their latest assessment for their home’s taxable value).
How does our current millage rate compare to other districts?
At 4.08 mills, the current rate is among the lowest in Jackson County. Click here for debt millage comparables.
Who can vote in this bond proposal election?
Residents within the Northwest Community School district who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day and are registered to vote. Please note, you can register to vote on the day of the election at your local clerk’s office.
Where can I get information about voting? (Such as registering to vote and applying for an absentee
Go to the Michigan Voter Information website www.michigan.gov/vote or contact your local clerk.
Where do I go to vote?
If you are unsure of your voting precinct, visit www.michigan.gov/vote or contact your local clerk.
Do I need to update my voter registration?
You need to update your voter registration if you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted.
You can do this at any Secretary of State office or at the clerk’s office where you reside.
Can I vote by absentee ballot?
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.
When do we vote?
Election day is Tuesday, August 8, 2023*. Polls are open from 7am-8pm. You will vote at your usual polling place for local, state, and national elections.
*Absentee ballots will be available by June 29 and can be returned through election day.
If approved, would the bond proposal have any impact on our current operational budget?
Bond proposal funds cannot be used for the general fund or operating purposes. However, if approved, the bond may have a positive impact on the annual operating budget in that operating funds otherwise intended or needed for capital expenditures could be spent on student programs and resources.
Can I vote if I rent a house?
Yes, if you are a registered voter in the city or township you are living in.
Paid for by Northwest Community Schools, 6900 Rives Junction Rd., Jackson, MI 49201