Make-or-break millage in Saugatuck

SAUGATUCK, Mich. - Saugatuck Public Schools residents will vote Aug. 4 on what school officials say is a make-or-break millage renewal, according to The Holland Sentinel, but this time an organized group is campaigning on behalf of the school tax.

Voters turned down the 18-mill renewal request in May, which effectively eliminated 60 percent of district revenue, The Sentinel reported. Without that funding - a tax assessed against commercial property and second homes - the district could be closed and divided up among neighboring districts, according to campaign literature, The Sentinel reported.

Kathleen Piggins told The Sentinel that, like a lot of parents, she didn't vote in May because she assumed the millage renewal would pass. When it lost by 38 votes, she became involved as head of the Save Our Schools campaign to pass the millage in August, The Sentinel reported.

Jim Wiley, of Douglas, told the school board at a recent meeting that voters were unhappy with the board's lack of transparency and the building of a new baseball field, The Sentinel reported.

Other residents question the wisdom of accepting schools-of- choice students whose parents do not pay local property taxes, the report said.

Liz Broderick, the district's business and human resources services director, told The Sentinel that the district does not lose money by accepting students from other districts because it receives between $7,300 and $8,200 in state funding for each.

The Holland Sentinel, "Community rallies to overturn historic millage veto," July 23, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Show Michigan the Money," June 22, 2009