by CYNTHIA KMETT
On November 7th, you will be asked to vote on a Building and Site Sinking Fund (or BSSF) for our schools. This fund would be created at NO additional cost to the current tax rates and allow us to make necessary repairs and upgrades in our schools.
A Building and Site Sinking Fund (BSSF) is a “pay as you go” millage used to keep district buildings in good repair as well as upgrade security/safety and technology. 170 school districts in Michigan have a BSSF.
In the TSD, the School Board and administration have worked hard to keep your tax dollars where they belong—in the classroom. But funding cuts force them to make reductions elsewhere, and that means repairs and upgrades to our schools do not get done. They spend less on repair and refurbishment of our facilities than 734 of the 839 other school districts and academies statewide – Troy is the fourth lowest spender on infrastructure needs in Oakland County.
A BSSF would:
Protect your investment in Troy Schools
Preserve the excellence in our classrooms
Ensure that our students are safe and secure in their learning environment
Why use a BSSF? This type of fund provides a dedicated revenue stream but adds no debt — we borrow nothing as happens when you sell bonds and there’s no interest to pay bondholders, and you spend only what is available each year, all at ZERO increase to the current tax rates.
It’s a zero increase because the district has paid off some of its bonds and would like to move the money it was using to pay the bonds, the 1 mill per thousand dollars of a home’s taxable value (SEV, not the selling price) value, into a “savings account” of sorts to pay for needed repairs in the district. It is not money that can be used for operations or salaries, just building needs.
The sinking fund can be used for items like roofing, flooring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, as well as safety items like windows and doors, upgraded lighting, and safety measures. And while it can be used to install the wires for new technology, interestingly the state says “no” to buying the software or computers.
The board took a survey on the idea of a building and site sinking fund and found 69 percent of those surveyed found it a good idea.
“We are grateful for the support of our friends and neighbors, who recognize the link between exemplary schools and strong property values. I urge you to learn as much as you can—and then head to the polls on November 7th,” stated Dr. Richard Machesky, Superintendent, Troy School District.
The board hopes you’ll vote “yes” on this issue in the Tuesday, November 7th election. If you haven’t registered to vote, the deadline is October 10, 2017. If you have questions, explore the proposal on the district website: www.troy.k13.mi.us, under the quick links on the left side of the home page.