This summer, Mid Michigan College’s Board of Trustees adopted an initiative to invite residents of the Gratiot-Isabella RESD to join its service district. Recently, the State Superintendent formally approved this action, allowing Mid Michigan College to present two ballot proposals in November 2020 for voters in the Gratiot-Isabella RESD (GI-RESD).
Proposal I asks voters to determine whether they approve annexation into Mid Michigan College’s district, and Proposal II seeks ratification of a taxable rate of 1.2232 mills (the College’s current operating millage rate).
If both proposals pass, they would lead to the effective annexation of this area to the Mid Michigan College district.
What does annexation to Mid Michigan College’s District mean?
Currently, Mid’s in-district service area is exclusive to the Clare-Gladwin RESD. The College receives tax dollars from these residents at a rate of 1.2232 mills, the second-lowest rate in the State.
Though the College has had an established campus in Mt. Pleasant for over 20 years and serves more students from Isabella and Gratiot counties than from in-district areas, property owners and residents in the GI-RESD are not in Mid Michigan College’s district. Passage of these ballot measures would change that.
If voters adopt both annexation proposals, a home with an assessed taxable value of $50,000 (true market value of $100,000) would pay slightly more than $60 a year in property taxes and residents would pay 40% less in tuition costs than they are currently.
What does annexation do for Gratiot-Isabella RESD residents?
Tuition would be lowered by 40% for students living in the GI-RESD from $220/contact hour to $132/contact hour as a result of joining Mid’s district (based on 2020-2021 tuition rates. Students taking 30 contact hours a year would pay $2,640 less than they are currently.
At the College’s current enrollment rates, this change would collectively save GI-RESD residents about $1.5 Million each year.
Additionally, residents in the GI-RESD would be eligible to participate in future elections of Mid’s Board of Trustees.
Mid’s Service and Impact
In the 2020 Academic Year, 39% of Mid’s students resided in Isabella and Gratiot Counties. Enrollment of Clare-Gladwin County residents was 24%. Likewise, substantially more students attend classes at the College’s Mt. Pleasant campus than its in-district location in Harrison.
According to a 2019 study by EMSI, economic modeling, “Mid also creates a significant positive impact on the business community and generates a return on investment to its major stakeholder groups—students, taxpayers, and society.”
Among the reasons for this claim is that the College supports one out of every 43 jobs and contributes a total of $69.2 million in economic impact. For every $1 spent educating students at Mid, taxpayers receive an average return of $5.50, according to the study.
Mid Michigan College has compiled information about its annexation proposal, including short explainer videos, on its site: midmich.edu/annexation-proposal. To speak with someone directly about the College’s annexation proposals, contact Dr. Scott Mertes, Vice President of Community Outreach & Advancement at (989)386-6622 x230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.