By Charles Sercombe
The election season is coming a little early this year in Hamtramck.
The public school district is asking voters to approve a 4-mill tax proposal next Tuesday, May 6.
The ballot proposal will be the only item on the ballot. Hamtramck Public Schools is one of a half dozen school districts in the metro area seeking a special millage.
As an increasing number of school district struggle to balance their budgets in the wake of state financial aid being slashed under Gov. Rick Snyder, more and more are turning to voters for support.
Hamtramck’s millage will go toward school building repairs, and cannot be used for anything else. The district has an exhaustive list of repairs that are needed. Millage supporters have been going door-to-door to inform the community about the proposal.
Voters have been up and down in supporting past millage proposals. The tax will add on about $70 a year for the average Hamtramck homeowner. But considering that house values have decreased in recent years, the annual tax payment has gone down for most.
Ruksana Yasmin, whose three children attend public schools, said that in her experience in talking with voters, those who are initially resistant often come around when the millage is explained.
“Once they hear what it is for and how much it costs, they say, ‘OK, that sounds good,’” Yasmin said.
Yasmin is a paraprofessional at Dickinson East Elementary School and knows firsthand what repairs are needed.
“I hope people will realize it’s a good cause and that we need our school buildings repaired,” she said.