Can we afford this?
That’s what Detroit taxpayers are asking themselves as they prepare to vote next week on a $500.5 million school bond issue.
Called Proposal S, the money would be used to build eight new schools and renovate 10 others.
In a region with the highest unemployment rate in the nation, residents are wondering if the city still has the tax base to generate the property tax revenues needed to pay the bond off, The Detroit Free Press reports.
And residents are also wary of how the bond funding will be used. As we told you last month, Emergency Financial Manager Robert C. Bobb is looking into questionable real estate deals that were made under the last bond, approved in 1994 to the tune of $1.5 billion.
The bond issue has the support of Mayor Dave Bing, but not of the elected school board, which is locked in a battle with Bobb over authority of the school district that has spilled into the courts.
Will Detroiters vote to keep paying higher property taxes to help their beleaguered school system? We’ll all find out next week.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.