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Ballot proposals seek voters’ OK

CRYSTAL FALLS—Only ballot proposals will be decided during the election scheduled next Tuesday, May 5, in Iron County. No candidates are on the ballot this time.
    All county voters will help decide the fate of Proposal 1, a statewide question that would increase Michigan’s sales tax in order to increase spending for roads and education.
    Depending on where you live, you may also get to vote on one of two local ballot proposals: whether to renew funding for the Windsor Center in Iron River and the Crystal Falls District Community Library.
    Proposal 1 was created by the Legislature as a way to raise more money for highways. The sorry state of Michigan’s road system has been a political football for years, and after punting on the issue repeatedly, the state legislators finally agreed to have Michigan voters decide.
    The proposal on the ballot would:
    --Increase the state sales/use tax from 6 percent to 7 percent.
    --Increase the gas/diesel fuel tax and adjust it annually for inflation; increase vehicle registration fees; and dedicate the revenue for roads and other transportation purposes.
    --Eliminate the sales/use tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles on public roads.
    --Increase the portion of the use tax dedicated to the School Aid Fund.
    --Expand use of the School Aid Fund to include community colleges and career/technical schools. It also prohibits the School Aid Fund from being used on four-year colleges and universities.
    --Expand competitive bidding and warranties for road projects.
    --Increase the earned income tax credit.
    Crystal Falls Library: The proposal will be decided by voters in the city of Crystal Falls, Crystal Falls Township
and Mansfield Township only.
    The proposal asks that the one-mill levy for the Crystal Falls District Community Library be renewed for four years, 2016 through 2020 for district library purposes. The old levy expires this year. The proposal would raise $134,569 in its first year.
    Windsor Center: This proposal will be decided by voters in the city of Iron River, Stambaugh Township, Iron River Township and Bates Township only.
    The proposal asks that the half-mill levy for the Windsor Center be renewed for two years, 2015 and 2016. The funds would go to the Windsor Recreation Authority “for the purpose of operating, maintaining and/or improving the public auditorium and other recreational facilities for the benefit of adult and youth recreation programs” at the Windsor Center.
    The old half-mill levy expired in 2014. In its first year, the millage would raise $25,391 in Iron River Township, $44,449 in Stambaugh Township, $23,977 in Bates Township and $26,898 in the city of Iron River.