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No, a Muskgeon-area school millage proposal wouldn't cost the average homeowner $7,500

A claim circulating on Facebook accused the MAISD of attempting to pull a proverbial fast one on May 3.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — It's fairly common practice for local school districts to take funding proposals to the voters on election day.

But a new meme circulating on social media accused the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) of attempting to pull a proverbial fast one on May 3.

THE CLAIM:

Viewer Ellen from Muskegon County requested the Verify Team look into a claim she spotted on Facebook: “Beware! The MAISD is trying to sneak a tax increase past you by quietly putting it to a vote in May. This one is huge!! They want to increase their tax by 76%! This could cost a typical Muskegon County household over $7500.00 over the course of the millage.”

THE RESULT:

   

This is false.

False. The Muskegon Area ISD’s millage request would not increase its existing overall tax rate by 76%, nor would it cost the average homeowner anywhere near $7,500.

SOURCES:

  • Karlie Parker, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education, Muskegon Area ISD
  • The MAISD website
  • Kristin Barnhill, Muskegon County Elections Coordinator

WHAT WE FOUND:

“The last time special education came up… [it’s been] over 40 years since it had last been updated,” Barnhill said via Zoom Monday.

And that’s what many Muskegon-area voters will find on their ballots come May 3: A proposal to inject more money into largely-unfunded countywide special education programing.

Over its 10-year lifespan, the proposal would generate $8.7 million in revenue.  

“It is a fact that that is being facilitated by Muskegon ISD. And that is because the only entity that can legally go forward seeking a countywide Special Education millage is the ISD,” Parker explained. “This money would flow back to the local districts.”

As for the dollar figure in question—the meme’s eyepopping claim the proposal’s adoption would entail a $7,500 expense:

“It would mean that the average homeowner that was referenced to within that post would have a home with a value of $850,000,” Parker said.

But the actual average home value in Muskegon County is far lower than that.

The average is closer to $100,000 than $800,000.

The annual cost to the average homeowner would total approximately $88.

Credit: MAISD

For additional information pertaining to the Muskegon Area ISD Special Education Millage Proposal, visit the District’s website.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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