Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WCCC Sticks It's Hand Out Again

In an article in The Detroit News, it was indicated that Wayne County Community College will be asking for 1.5 mills on the November ballot. That is $1.50 for every $1,000 of taxable value of your home and property in Wayne County. What has changed since last year. The economy has gotten worse, more people have lost their jobs and must retrain and we have an unprecedented defection from the state. What are the reasons for the failure of the millage last year?

Wayne County Community College history has been marked with distasteful episodes. Classes listed but not held, students enrolled without attending and teachers paid for classes they rarely taught. It is true that of late it has operated much better and has expanded its suburban population to 40%.

So why did they choose to put the millage on last year when it did not expire until 2011? Some say it was to take advantage of a low turnout election. I say it was much more devious than that and they are doing it again. The language referred to in the newspaper this year suggests that they are requesting a renewal, when in reality, a levy of 1.5 mills would actually be an increase. It would undue any gains we would of had for the last 10 years under the Headlee Amendment which has limited the revenue increase to the rate of inflation and rolled the millage back. Since 2001, they have had an increase in student population from 17,000 to 70,000. A number of students require remediation. That means the education we have been paying for the last 12 years has been less than adequate.

I wonder if they know that if the millage is set to take effect as a renewal and passes this year they will have to take any reduction that occurs the next two years until the millage is levied? That was part of an Attorney General decision made this past year.

WCCC says they need to plan. So do we. Will our assessments be up or down in 2011? Will we be in or out of a recession? Will Michigan be in better shape or worse? Will population grow or decline? Will we have the personal revenue to pay for the tax increase, since every level of government is trying to hit us up for more money?

Fancy buildings do not an education make.


RightMichigan.com said...

I thought fancy buildings were the answer to all of the state's problems. We even get New Deal style government construction jobs out of the deal! Because we ALL want to go back to the economic conditions of the 1920s and 30s!

Actually, in Jennifer Granholm's Michigan that might be a step in the right direction...


JGillman said...

It's a constant battle isn't it? We ALL want quality education, yet mismanagement and unaccountable practices seem to ruin what could be a good deal.

Nice catch on the "increase" vs. renewal angle. This happens all over.

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