• Voters will consider special education tax increase in Van Buren County - mlive.com

    VAN BUREN COUNTY, MI --The Van Buren County Intermediate School District is asking voters for additional tax dollars to fund the county’s special education program.

    Voters in the ISD will be asked to consider a 0.9-mill increase for five years to raise nearly $4 million per year for special education programs in the ISD’s 11 school districts, according to a presentation from the ISD.

    The current special education tax is levied at a rate of 3.3177 mills.

    If approved by voters at the Tuesday, March 10, election, the increased millage increase would raise $3,730,173 per year for five years, for a total of $18,650,865 over the five-year period, the ISD said.

    The millage would fund both operational costs for individual school districts and renovations for Van Buren ISD facilities that serve students with disabilities from all 11 districts, the ISD said. The school districts in the ISD include Bangor, Bloomingdale, Covert, Decatur, Gobles, Hartford, Lawrence, Lawton, Mattawan, Paw Paw and South Haven schools.

    For the owner of a home with a $100,000 property value, the new tax would cost $45 per year.

    The funds will be used for renovations, a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, new flooring in classrooms, asphalting the parking lot, a building remodel at the Special Services facility and upgrades at the Behavioral Education Center with potential new programs and services offered, the ISD said. The projected cost of the projects is $8.5 million, the ISD said.

    The funds would also increase special education reimbursement to the 11 school districts in the ISD by $2 million.

    The ISD currently reimburses $1 million to the districts for special education. The new millage would provide an additional $2 million, for a total of $3 million in reimbursements to the districts. The schools would pay 63% of their special education costs for a total of about $5 million.

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