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Bill would cover debt for dissolved Buena Vista school district

The millennial generation has had the challenge of dealing with record-high student debt rates.
Simon Cunningham

A bill moving through Lansing would relieve Buena Vista residents of debt left over from the township's dissolved school district.

Buena Vista voters yesterday rejected a non-homestead millage to continue paying off the $725,000 debt. They rejected a similar proposal last November.

Sen. Ken Horn is sponsoring a bill he says would eliminate the need to levy any mills.

"[Buena Vista residents] paid for these schools once already," Horn said. "They shouldn’t have to do it a second time.”

Instead, the bill would re-purpose funds originally set aside for maintenance and demolition costs after the state transferred Buena Vista's old buildings to several neighboring districts in 2013.

The bill would also maintain foundational funding for districts receiving the properties until they're able to renew millages reflecting the transfer.

"We can’t collect the [tax] money until the debt is paid, but we can’t pay the debt until the money is collected," Horn said. "My bill takes us out of that catch-22."

The Michigan Senate passed the bill in March. The House Appropriations Committee will take it up next.

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