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Lake Michigan College 2023 Millage Renewal

The primary purpose of the millage renewal proposal on the August 8th ballot is to renew the current millage for Lake Michigan College, which expires with the 2023 tax levy, for another 20 years. The current millage generates nearly 25% of LMC’s total operational budget. Revenue from this millage provides essential financial support to LMC's programs and services.

“This is a renewal of critical funding that the community has previously voted to support,” Lake Michigan College President Dr. Trevor Kubatzke said. “It is important to note that we are not seeking any tax increase. This proposal would freeze the LMC tax rate for district residents for the next 20 years.” 

The ballot proposal is designed to continue supporting the education, training, and community such as: 

  • A positive economic impact on the community that totals more than $400 million a year. This includes the economic and social impact of LMC alumni, workforce training, and college operations. 
  • Providing everyone the opportunity to earn a certificate, a degree, or a new skill to start, advance or change their career. 
  • Providing students with an affordable option for completing their first two years of college before transferring to a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree. 
  • Delivering innovative programs including Early/Middle College and Dual Enrollment to high school students to save district residents money and provide access to in-demand careers. 
  • Preparing the local workforce for existing and emerging careers in industries such as healthcare, cybersecurity, and the convergence of IT and business. 
  • Continuing to serve as a cultural and social hub for Southwest Michigan with the LMC Mendel Center, Hanson Theatre, Fab Lab, and the Welch Center for Wine & Viticulture. 

What is a millage and how does it affect taxes? 

A millage is the rate at which property taxes are levied on real estate or other property. The millage rate is the number of dollars of tax assessed for each $1,000 of property value.  

A mill is one-thousandth of a dollar or one-tenth of a cent. LMC’s renewal proposal is for 0.8804 of a mill. 

If voters approve the 0.8804 ballot proposal, this will freeze the LMC tax rate for district residents for the next 20 years.  

If the ballot proposal is approved by voters, will property values be affected? 

Real estate values tend to be higher in communities with school districts and community colleges that offer quality educational programs and services and have up-to-date facilities. Property values tend to be lower in communities that do not offer a comprehensive curriculum or that have educational facilities that are out of date and poorly maintained.  

Why does the College have a proposal on the Aug 8 ballot? 

The current millage provides crucial support to the college’s budget and ability to meet student and community needs. It supports high-quality education and excellence in collegiate activities and events, community services and events, athletics, and facilities. This would renew the current millage already in place and would freeze the LMC tax rate for district residents for the next 20 years. 

What happens if the voters don’t approve this?  

All community colleges are funded through a combination of local property tax, tuition, and appropriations from the State of Michigan. If this renewal is not approved, Lake Michigan College will need to cut expenditures and raise money by other means, which would include:  

  • An increase in tuition and fees.  
  • A decrease in services for students.  
  • Elimination of community programs that are currently free or heavily subsidized. 
  • Deterioration of the physical appearance of the college.  
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