Mid Michigan College hopes to expand tax base in Isabella and Gratiot counties
Mid Michigan college is behind two ballot initiatives on the November ballot to annex the Isabella Gratiot area and increase its tax base.
If both ballot initiatives pass, students in the Gratiot and Isabella RESD would be able to pay in-district rates. Currently, the Clare-Gladwin RESD is Mid’s “home” district.
Scott Mertes is with Mid. He said Isabella and Gratiot students make up over half of Mid’s student body. Mertes said students would pay a lower, in-district tution rate if the ballot measures pass.
“It benefits mid in half, it benefits our students in half, but one thing it does for us is it makes our funding much more stable and not necessarily reliant on student tuition dollars as we are right now.”
In total, Mertes says Mid would see an additional $1.6 million dollars annually.
“From a student standpoint, the tuition for an in-district student from an out district student is 40% less,” he said. “For Mid, it will generate some income, it’ll generate $3.1 million. However $1.5 million of that will be given back to students as part of the tuition discount.”
Mertes said the average household in Gratiot County will pay an additional $56 annually if the annexation passes. In Isabella, the average will be $69.
According to Mertes, this is the first annexation of an education district to take place in a long time.
“Annexation has not been attempted in the state of Michigan for quite some time,” he said. “We had to gain the approval of the state superintendent. It took the state superintendent quite some time to finally grant approval because they didn’t have anything to go back and look at.”
Mertes said that is the reason that the ballot measure is split into two separate proposals.