Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Now that the elections are over...

It's time to remind you about the upcoming AAPS budget forums:

Ann Arbor Public Schools Budget Forums, this week and next:

Thursday, November 10
Huron High School's Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, November 14,
Pioneer High School's Cafeteria Annex, 6:30 pm.


  1. I am wondering about the LDFA, Local Development Financing Act, which is funded 50% by the operating millage of Ann Arbor Public Schools and 50% of the State Educational TAx levied on captured property. From the budget that I looked at it states that $1.6 million dollars of State School Aid ($.79 per student) goes to fund the LDFA, but somehow that doesn't affect the school budget. Could someone explain how that is? It seems to me that our schools need this money, and that speculative development shouldn't be a priority when our children's education is at stake.

  2. Well, it took a little digging to nail down what I suspected was true. Basically, the formula that determines the state's portion of a district's foundation allowance adjusts for the loss of revenue to the district from a TIF (or tax increment financing plan). So the state makes up the taxes captured by the TIF when it makes payments to the district.

    The LDFA you refer to, the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Smart Zone, is funded by a tax increment financing plan on property inside the AA and Ypsi downtown development authority districts. Tax increment financing means that the development authority gets some share of whatever increase in tax revenue results from increases in property value after the TIF was created. You can find information on the Smart Zone TIF here:
    Note that they say that they excluded revenues going to the ISD because that would not be made up by the state.

    The formula to determine the state's share of our foundation allowance is very painful reading but can be found in the Revised School Code: MCL 388.1620(4)

    In short, the revenues going to the Smart Zone do not affect the revenues that go to AAPS because the state makes up for the loss.

  3. Thanks Steve for answering this! Everybody else, Steve is the director of Michigan Parents for Schools, and you can find out lots of information on their web site,