Below are some common questions and answers related to the sinking fund levy proposal:

What is a sinking fund?

A sinking fund is a savings fund approved and generated by local voters that provides school districts with funds to pay cash for infrastructure maintenance and improvements as needed. This allows districts to address these needs interest-free without borrowing funds through short-term loans or school bonds.

What does the State of Michigan pay for?

Current state funding does not provide schools with funding to maintain, repair or renovate buildings. Webberville Schools, like many Michigan schools, utilize a local sinking fund levy to fund school infrastructure repair and improvement. If approved, sinking fund revenue will also be used to improve district technology and implement safety and security improvements.

Why are sinking fund revenues important?

Sinking fund revenue is utilized to maintain and protect the district’s infrastructure. This revenue is used to protect the taxpayer investment by paying for school repairs and maintenance projects as they are completed. This approach saves money because it does not incur the interest and other fees of bonds and notes.

Is a sinking fund levy similar to a bond?

Sinking funds and bonds are both approved and generated by taxpayers, however, there are some noteworthy differences. Sinking fund revenue is limited in its uses which are regulated by law. Another difference is that sinking fund revenues are not financed. This means the revenue is interest-free and saves money compared to school bonds.

What maintenance and improvement projects does Webberville Community Schools have planned for these funds?

The needs that have been identified are currently:
Safety, security, and technology improvements
Roofing replacement
Parking surface maintenance and repair
Fencing improvement and replacement
Facility repair and improvement for FFA and performing arts

What can sinking fund revenue NOT be used for?

Sinking fund revenue cannot be used for employee salaries, employee benefits, books, consumable supplies, or routine maintenance like mowing, cleaning, and snow removal.

Does Webberville Community Schools have a sinking fund currently?

Yes. The current sinking fund levy is .9728 mills. This generates approximately $148,000 per year. Of this revenue, the district utilizes approximately $115,000 (78%) annually to pay for energy bonds that were approved in 2005. This only leaves approximately $33,000 available each year for the needs outlined above. 

Are there plans to construct new buildings and/or purchase real estate?

There is language required by law to be on the ballot for a sinking fund proposal.  Webberville Schools does not have current plans to purchase real estate or construct school buildings.  This levy is being proposed to support infrastructure repair and improvements to the district's existing school buildings. New construction or real estate purchase is not a part of the proposed projects.

What happens if the sinking fund levy is NOT approved in May?

The current sinking fund levy is set to expire after the 2023-24 school year. If the current levy expires, the district must pay the energy bond payments with revenue from the general fund. This would have a significant financial impact on budgets available for classroom instruction. The proposed repairs and improvements would also not occur.

If the proposed sinking fund levy is approved, what happens to the previous levy?

If the proposed levy is approved, it would replace the previous levy. It is not added to the previous levy. The increase would be determined by the difference between the previous and proposed levy.

How much will this proposal cost?

A home with a taxable value of $70,000 would see an estimated increase of $10.95/month.

Andrew Smith