On the March 10 primary ballot, Washtenaw Community College (WCC) is asking its community to approve the restoration and renewal of a 1-mill operating millage.
The 1-mill rate was previously approved by voters in 2008. Recently, the amount collected from millage has dropped to 0.9718 because of Michigan's Headlee Amendment, which limits property tax increases. The 1-mill rate would be a renewal of 0.9718 mills and a restoration of 0.0282 mills. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the renewal would cost them about $97.18 per year in taxes. The restoration, or increase, will cost the owner of that $200,000 home an additional 5.5 cents each week.
Revenue from the millage would continue to support WCC's programs and services. According to WCC's vice president of economic and college development, Michelle Mueller, 15.2% of the college's operating budget comes from the millage.
“We generate $525 million in economic impact to this area,” Mueller told MLive. “[The millage] is very important to us because it helps us to be able to provide the programming and do the kinds of things that we’re doing that have such a positive impact on the county."
A recent survey of Washtenaw residents said they are satisfied with the services WCC offers, according to MLive. Respondents gave high marks to the quality of instruction, variety of services and programs and were pleased at how well WCC students were prepared for careers following their education.
The millage would support the following programs and services at WCC: offering certificates, degrees or new skill training to start or progress in a career; providing an affordable option for the first two years of college; preparing Washtenaw County's workforce for careers in health care, cybersecurity, connected and autonomous mobility, and the convergence of IT and business; providing free classes to county residents age 65 and older; and hosting four international unions, bringing $13 million in economic value to the community, according to MLive.