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Benzie County Annexation Proposition


In response to an invitation from Benzie County residents to provide greater access to education and training after high school, NMC is placing an annexation proposition before Benzie County voters on the Nov. 5, 2024 ballot.

Benzie residents first approached NMC in 2019. Following more than two dozen listening sessions in Benzie communities and with residents in 2023–24, NMC trustees unanimously approved the annexation proposition at their April 22, 2024 meeting.

Read a news release on the NMC trustees vote and the proposition here.

What does this mean?

If voters approve, Benzie County would join Grand Traverse County as an “in district” county within NMC’s community college district. This means Benzie residents, like Grand Traverse County residents, would pay a millage (property tax) to support college operations and receive the lowest tuition rates.

NMC would also establish a physical presence in Benzie County, envisioned to include teaching/classroom space, a computer lab and technology resources for students, and meeting spaces and office space for permanent and visiting staff.

  • Voter Information

    • Election date: Nov. 5, 2024

    • Ballot language

      Voters will see two separate ballot questions. The first asks whether the annexation proposal should pass. The second asks whether the millage should pass. Both must pass for the annexation to take effect and the millage to be collected starting in 2025. Read the ballot questions here.

    • How to register to vote

      Michigan voters are encouraged to register as early as possible before an election. Learn more here.
      Voters can check their voter registration status and look up their local clerk information at Michigan.gov/Vote.

    • Deadline to Register

      If there are 15+ days before an election, voters can register online, by mail, or in person.
      Within 14 days of an election and on Election Day, voters may only register by visiting their local clerk’s office to register in person with proof of residency documentation.

    • Absentee Voter Information

      Due to changes approved by voters statewide in 2018, all registered Michigan voters are eligible to receive an absentee ballot without providing a reason, or to vote early in person.
      Find out how to request an absentee ballot.
      Find out how to vote early in person.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    • How much would the proposal cost property owners?

      NMC’s current in-district millage rate is 2.0574. For the owner of a $200,000 home, annexation would cost $206 per year.
      For the owner of a $300,000 home, it would cost $309 per year.
      For the owner of a $400,000 home, it would cost $411 per year.

      Taxable Value

      Taxable value is the value on which property taxes are calculated in the State of Michigan. Taxable value is the lesser of State Equalized Value (SEV) or capped value unless the property was sold the prior year. State Equalized Value is one half (1/2) of your property's true cash value. Read Benzie County's Guide to Property Taxes here.

    • How much would it generate?

      If approved, the millage would generate $3.5 million in 2025. After factoring in the lower tuition rate that would be paid by Benzie students, NMC is expected to net an additional $2.6 million per year.

    • How do in-district and out of district tuition rates compare?

      In 2023–24, in-district students (currently Grand Traverse County residents) pay $122/contact hour. The 2023–24 out-of-district rate is $261/contact hour. Based on an annual credit load of 20 credit hours, an in-district student would save $2,780.

    • How many Benzie County students attend NMC?

      In Fall 2023, 169 Benzie students attended NMC. The college has had as many as 300 Benzie students.

    • Would Benzie County residents eligible for Michigan Reconnect (currently 21+) get free tuition?

      Yes. Currently Michigan Reconnect pays the in-district tuition rate, meaning Benzie students must cover the difference ($139/contact hour). About 6,500 Benzie County residents ages 25–54 would qualify. Learn more at michigan.gov/reconnect.

    • When would the annexation take effect?

      Immediately upon approval. Benzie students currently enrolled would see their tuition reduced for the Spring 2025 semester.

    • When would the millage be collected?

      In 2025.

    • What happens if the proposition fails?

      Benzie County would remain out-of-district with students paying higher tuition rates. No millage would be collected.