Petoskey chamber supports NCMC millage, other requests

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The Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has agreed to support millage requests that will be on the Nov. 8th ballot for North Central Michigan College and for the Public Schools of Petoskey.

The board’s action came at their September and October meetings after hearing presentations from both entities.

North Central Michigan College will be asking voters to approve a millage renewal of 0.9946 mill for a period of ten years.  NCMC President Cameron Brunet-Koch, in her presentation to the chamber board, emphasized that the millage request is a renewal and not a tax increase.  “However this is critical to our college as this millage makes up 16.8% of the college’s operating budget,” Brunet-Koch told the board.  That sum is around $2,720,000

An issue is also on the ballot for the Public Schools of Petoskey.  School Superintendent John Scholten addressed the chamber board at its October meeting and explained that the school’s request is for a millage restoration.  He described it as a mechanism that will allow the school to maintain the state-allowed operating levy of 18-mills on non-homestead properties.  “If approved, this millage will assure that Petoskey Schools will be able to receive the per-pupil funding allotment we are allowed by law,” Scholten explained.  The request is for a one mill increase for three years and will only affect business properties and non-homestead properties.  If approved, it will generate approximately $175,000 in revenue for the schools.

After deliberation, the chamber’s board of directors agreed to support both millage requests and to urge its members and the community to vote ‘yes’ on each.  “While none of us enjoy paying taxes, we know that our public schools and our college are responsible stewards of the funds they receive,” said Tom Adams, Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.  “We also know how critical these two entities are to the welfare of our community and we believe they deserve our support,” he added.

The NCMC ballot proposal will be before all voters throughout Emmet County while the proposal for the Public Schools of Petoskey will just be on the ballots of voters within the Petoskey School District.

The Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy organization that serves a membership of 780-businesses and organizations.  While the chamber does not endorse candidates, they will take stances on local and state ballot issues when they feel it is appropriate.