Flint & Genesee Chamber’s Public Policy Committee Endorses Two Countywide Millage Proposals

(FLINT, Mich. – July 21, 2016) The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee (PPC) today announced the endorsement of two countywide millage proposals on the August 2 primary ballot in support of post-secondary education in Genesee County.

The PPC urges Chamber members and affiliates in Flint & Genesee, as well as all voters, to vote “yes” on the Mott Community College (MCC) millage renewal request. MCC is funded in part by a 0.6410 mill operating millage that was last renewed by voters for a 10-year period in 2007.

The millage expires in 2017. MCC is asking voters to approve another 10-year renewal of the millage, which generates about $5.7 million annually for operations.

The 0.6410 mills levy on a $100,000 house with a taxable value of $50,000 currently costs the homeowner $32.05 per year. That would not increase under the millage renewal.

“Mott Community College is a vital resource in our network of higher education institutions in Flint & Genesee,” said Steve Landaal, Co-Chair, Flint & Genesee Chamber Public Policy Committee and President, Landaal Packaging Systems. “Our citizens, businesses and communities across the county benefit greatly from the educational, economic, community and workforce development opportunities and services currently offered to Mott’s students and stakeholders.”

MCC has been recognized as one of the Top Community Colleges in the U.S. in 2012, 2014 and 2016 by the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC.

The PPC also urges support for a request by the Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD) to levy 0.25 mills for 20 years to support the post-secondary education and success of Genesee County graduating seniors.

The millage – known as the Genesee Opportunity – will fund stipends for the first year of post-secondary education for graduating seniors.

All graduating seniors who reside in and attend a Genesee County high school would be eligible to receive a stipend, regardless of the family income level. Stipends will begin at $250 and increase to $600-$800 in future years, depending on the number of students who take advantage of the program in the prior year. The stipend may be used for approved training or higher education at any accredited post-secondary institution in the U.S.

The millage would generate about $2.3 million annually for this program. For a $100,000 house with a taxable value of $50,000, the 0.25 mills levy would cost the owner $12.50 per year.

“It’s our position these stipends would be a worthwhile investment in our students as they begin their transition from high school to adulthood and becoming contributors to our economy,” said Landaal.

The announcements are a continuation of the Chamber’s expanded engagement in the legislative and political process. Endorsement recommendations from the PPC are reviewed and approved by the Chamber’s Operating Board prior to announcement.

“Strong support for education at all levels is a hallmark of a livable, competitive community,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “That’s why the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, whose members are business leaders in Flint and Genesee County, encourages the community at-large to get behind these important proposals.”