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Millage Renewal Q&A

Jackson County Intermediate School District Special Education Millage Renewal - May 2, 2023

What is being proposed?
This proposal asks whether to renew a five-year, 1.5408-mill property tax millage that voters last approved in 2017. If approved, the funds will be used by Jackson County ISD to reimburse public school districts and local public school academies for their mandated special education costs.

Why is a special education millage renewal on the ballot?
Local school districts are mandated by law to provide special education programs and services; however, the federal and state governments have not adequately funded special education in the past, placing the burden on local and intermediate school districts. Without additional millage funds, local school districts are forced to use general education funds to pay for special education programs and services.

Why is the Jackson County ISD involved in this millage if it doesn’t receive any funding from it?
The State of Michigan dictates a local school cannot go out for an enhancement millage - it must come from the county’s intermediate school district. Jackson County ISD is the only educational entity that can place this proposal on the ballot. Jackson County ISD has placed the proposal on the ballot on behalf of the 12 local school districts and three public school academies that it serves throughout Jackson County.

What is the impact to local districts if this millage is not renewed?
Without this millage in place, local school districts would lose approximately $8.8 million in special education funding for the 2023-24 school year, resulting in fewer dollars to support programs for all students.

Is this a new tax?
It is not a new tax. If voters approve the millage, it would renew the 1.5408-mill rate approved by voters in 2012 and 2017. 

Who can vote for this millage?
Every registered voter who lives in the school districts of Columbia Central, Concord, East Jackson, Grass Lake, Hanover-Horton, Jackson Public, Michigan Center, Napoleon, Northwest, Springport, Vandercook Lake, Western, whether a property owner or not and regardless of whether they have a student attending a local district, is eligible to vote. Paragon, JPEC, and da Vinci also receive reimbursement from this millage.

How much would this renewal request cost the taxpayer?
Since the special education millage is a renewal, it would not cause any increase in tax rates. Homeowners would pay based on the taxable value of their home, which is typically about half of the market value. A homeowner with a home with a market value of $100,000 (approximate taxable value of $50,000) pays $77.04/year, which is $6.42/month.

How will districts use the funds collected from this millage renewal?
Districts will use the money to pay for mandatory special education expenses that are not reimbursed by the state or federal government.

Will money from this millage pay for the Jackson County ISD’s new special education facility Central Campus?
No. 100% of the millage money is refunded to the local districts for their unreimbursed, mandated, special education costs.