Property Values and Taxes: You be the Judge

Even after a yes vote our school property taxes go down 20% and we save our schools.

The high school bond is not only about building a school for our students. For many voters, the decision comes down to two issues: property values and property taxes. We all know property values are dependent on many factors, including; proximity to employment, reliable city services, a reasonable tax structure, the perception of a community and, of course, the reputation of the local school district.

Never before has our community been presented with a high school solution that actually lowers our school taxes by 20%, as the proposed new tax is less than expiring taxes. Consider the attached chart so you can see how your taxes will go down. Or, for more information, visit http://www.onebloomfieldunited.com/millage_details and use the tax calculator to determine your own personal property tax reduction. 

Never before was there a plan that had so much detail and clearly defined the savings for the school district. The BHS will save $2.4 million per year with the bond passing and only $1 million per year if the bond fails. This savings preserves programs, which in turn preserves our school districts reputation and our property values. Ed Bretzlaff (head of student curriculum) said “he wanted the committee to know that K-12 programming would face cuts if the bond fails, not just high school programming.”

So, as a tax paying community member, ask yourself what impact voting yes will have on your property values vs. voting no. Will a home buyer say, I want to move to Bloomfield because they turned down a bond that lowered their taxes?  Will a home buyer say, I want to move to Bloomfield because now they have larger class sizes and fewer programs? Or will a home buyer say, I want to move to Bloomfield because after 8 years of working to find a reasonable solution, the voters got it right.  They approved a financially conservative, comprehensive, and value oriented plan?

"I have been a realtor in the Birmingham/Bloomfield district for over 25 years. I can very firmly support the fact that strong schools build a strong community. For that reason, we have enjoyed property values above many areas around our state.

Keep our property values strong. I urge you to vote yes on May 8th"

--Gwen Schultz                           

This voter looks forward to voting YES on May 8th so I can preserve my property value and lower my taxes.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joe Judge April 02, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Re: bond rating. Of course it matters. It's never a good time to lose your AAA bond rating. It's just unacceptable. It's a statement about good fiscal leadership and I wouldn't support any plan that jeopardized our bond rating. Nothing good can come of it. $2.4m vs. $1.4m. Your missing the point that, if the bond fails, in order to save $1.0m, the District will STILL HAVE TO SPEND $35m ... so the return is $1.0m on $35m spent. I took you at your word that your Plan B spends up to $50M and so your return is $1.0m on $50m. If the Bond passes, the savings is $2.4m on $78m spent... a better return. That's the correct way to state it. How much do we spend in either scenario and how much do we save in either scenario. Again, like the tax issue, the key is to spell it out completely and accurately for people to see.
Chris April 03, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Neal: I believe the district has sufficient funds to fix and improve Lahser and Andover. Why wouldn't they fill the excess capacity at Lahser with IA students and close that elementary facility? From district documents you can see there is about $40 million on hand plus $16 million in the general fund plus $23 million in sinking funds on hand and approved through 2018. So my position to keep Lahser and Andover has zero impact on maintaining K-8 facilities.
Chris April 03, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Joe, My point is whether the bond passes or fails, spending cuts of $2.4 million per year barely scratches the surface of what must be reduced from district spending. I have shared with the board sensible, reasonable ways to save $2.4 million without building a new high school. Building a new high school should not be about return on investment. It should be based on academic achievement and this has not been clearly demonstrated.
Neal Charness April 03, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Operating two schools at 50-60% capacity is like running an automaker with plants at half capacity, doing minor repairs while the efficiency and quality of the product suffers. It only makes sense if there are other agendas. There were posts recently where people said it would be ill advised to mix the Lahser and Andover cultures. The other agendas are blinding some people to reality.
-Elizabeth- April 03, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Building a new school is about operating the district efficiently which in turn will preserve educational opportunities. It is about maintaining the excellent education this community is known for. The building will also enhance instruction by providing the flexible spaces for the different methods of teaching and learning. Will this boost academic achievement, I believe it will. We are already a high performing district with intelligent students and effective teachers. A new facility will enhance the learning within its walls and allow the district to maintain the curriculum. Keeping the two existing high schools, in whatever configuration, will not be as efficient and so, more operational dollars will be needed away from the classroom. This will limit educational opportunities. The classrooms will be no different than they were in the 1960s. Will that boost academic achievement, probably not. Will our intelligent students continue to achieve a high levels, I believe they will because of our effective teachers. But it could be better. For me, this vote is about gaining operational efficiencies in order to maintain the curriculum which is a key part of high achievement.


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