Take issue with your vote!
Three things Madison County residents have to consider
The three issues on the 2022 Madison County Ballot involve school, golf and marijuana. Though seemingly unrelated topics, each will contribute to shaping our future communities.
Ennis school bonds, amounting to $45,000,000 over a twenty-year period, will be on School District 52 ballots which are Virginia City 1-1, all three of the Ennis Rural 20 and Ennis Town 21. (Ennis Rural 20 has 3 different ballots: Commission Dist 1, Commission Dist 3 and No Golf Course). The ballot reads ‘for the purpose of accommodating student enrollment…providing funds [for the following to include but are not limited to] … replacing portions of the building, a secure entrance, [multiple] classrooms, a library, fire alarm and suppression system, roof, upgrades to the gymnasium, locker rooms, data technology… and the list goes on. The bonds will also be used for teacher housing. On property already owned by the school district, additional housing will be provided, hopefully by the 2023-24 school year.
The ballot also states that if the proposition passes it is estimated that the district’s property taxes on a home valued at $100,000 would increase by $25.47 per year. If a home value at $344,000, the district’s median home value, the property taxes would increase $87.62.
Kyle Stone, Ennis School Board Chair, stated that “current enrollment K-12 is 430 students with a projected increase of 100 students over the next 10 years.” If the bond is successful Stone said it would help the district add much needed classroom space [and] help address safety and accessibility issues. More information can be found at www. ennisschools.org
The second issue, voted on by the entire county, is the 3% local-option marijuana excise tax on the retail value of all marijuana products sold within Madison County. This initiative is posed in two separate votes. One pertains to medical marijuana only, yes or no. The other pertains to recreational marijuana only, yes or no. According to the Montana Department of Revenue, Madison County marijuana sales estimated $198,664.00 in September 2022 alone. Medical marijuana accounted for approximately $36,376.00 of that total. In the same month the state of Montana had an estimated total sale of $26,555,903.00 in marijuana.
If passed, 50% of the resulting tax revenue must be retained by the county, while 45% of the resulting tax revenue must be appropriated to the municipalities based on the ratio of the population of the city or town to the total county population. The remaining 5% must be retained by the department to defray costs associated with administering the Local Option Marijuana Excise tax. (mtrevenue.gov)
The last issue, a proposition to create the Maison County Golf District to provide financing for capital improvements of the existing irrigation system and replacement of turf equipment at the Madison County Golf Course in Ennis. An initial levy of eleven mills is estimated to raise $200,000. The proposed Special District will be administered by a five member board, appointed by the County Commissioners, for a three year term. One member shall come from the Madison County Golf Association Board and a sixth, non voting member, from the Madison County Board of Commissioners.
The cost to property owners within the Special District will be approximately $14.67 per $100,000 of assessed property value. The Golf Course District will be on the Ennis Town 21 and two of the Ennis Rural 20 ballots. (One Ennis Rural 20 ballots, which is in Big Sky, will not be included in the vote or district.)
According to Paula McKenzie, Madison County Clerk & Recorder/Election Administrator, there are ten ballots in Madison County, depending on voters’ addresses. Sample ballots are available at the County Elections office or at https://www. madisoncountymt.gov/335/Elections-Voting-Ballots for people to see and print out from there