Midland Business Alliance Encourages Support on Two Ballot Items

If you follow the MBA’s advocacy efforts, you know that we keep our focus solidly on issues. So, even though many races appear on this November’s ballot—and those are all important!—we are communicating with our members on a few questions you will see on the ballot, too.

First, and most locally, is the Delta College millage renewal and restoration. After vetting through our Business Advocacy Council, the MBA Board voted to issue a resolution supporting the Delta College millage renewal and restoration. In short, the millage, which would take effect in 2021 and expire in 2031, will permit Delta to continue the current millage levy by renewing the college’s authority to levy 0.4864 mills. It will also restore a portion of the prior millage, reduced by the Headlee Amendment, returning the tax rate to a full 0.5000 mills, as was intended and approved by the voters in 1990.

In short, if voters approve the proposal on November 3rd, for every $100,000 of a home’s value, the owner will pay $25 annually in taxes to support Delta College.

The MBA fully supports this millage renewal and restoration, and urges your support, as well. Delta College offers 140 career associate and certificate programs, and 100 pre-approved transfer options. Educating more than 10,000 students annually, Delta is a critical tool in our workforce development toolbox.

“A quality education and fully-prepared workforce are non-negotiable; we simply must ensure that these are available, and Delta College is key in that effort. And, eight out of ten Delta students stay in our region and contribute to our economy. We’re grateful to have that talent here,” said Tony Stamas, President & CEO of the MBA.

The MBA is also urging your support on Proposal 1, which is a statewide ballot issue. In a nutshell, a yes vote on this issue will support a constitutional amendment to allow more flexibility on how Department of Natural Resources trust fund money can be spent on park-related projects.

The money for the trust fund comes from royalties on oil and gas mining on state-owned lands. However, currently, no more than 25% of the funding can be put towards park development. A yes vote would change the formula so that more funds could be utilized for conservation and recreation, and we should start to see more amenities such as playground equipment, trail enhancements, fishing platforms, etc.

The ballot proposal actually touches on several different sections of the MBA’s legislative positions, including environment, economic development, and taxes & budgeting.

The ballot measure originated in the state Legislature. Vote Yes for MI Water Wildlife & Parks is officially leading the support campaign, and about 60 organizations have formed a coalition to support the initiative.

“The MBA supports efforts to increase economic development opportunities through not only business growth, but also quality of life enhancements,” said Diane Middleton, Vice President of Advocacy for the MBA. “If the ballot proposal passes, we can further protect Michigan’s natural assets through responsible development, but development that also encourages citizens to utilize and enjoy nature.”

The MBA urges your support of both these critical ballot questions. Depending on where you live in the Great Lakes Bay Region, of course, you may see additional proposals on your ballot. Get prepared before you vote; preview your ballot and make your decisions in advance.