HALE – On Tuesday, August 2, 2022, Hale Area Schools will ask its voters to renew, for a ten-year period, the authorization for the School District to levy 18 mills on all “non-homestead property” located within the School District’s boundaries. The property tax revenues that the School District will collect from the millage levy will be used to finance a major portion of the School District’s operating costs.
“Non-homestead property” does NOT include principal residence property, qualified agricultural property, qualified forestry property or industrial personal property. Furthermore, commercial personal property is exempt from the first 12 mills of the 18 mills to be levied by the School District. The School District’s current operating millage will expire with the School District’s July 1, 2023 property tax levy.
While local school districts in Michigan are allowed to collect 18 mills for school operating purposes, Hale Area Schools is currently authorized to levy only 17.9478 mills on all non-homestead properties in the district. This difference is due to reductions mandated by the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution, which requires local school districts to reduce its operating millage when annual growth on existing property exceeds the rate of inflation. Because of this, Hale Area Schools can only ask voters to renew the current millage of 17.9478 mills.
The ballot proposal contains a renewal of the 17.9478 mills with an additional ½ mill to make up for prior and future Headlee reductions. The additional ½ mill will only be levied to the extent of bringing the total levy to the constitutionally allowed 18 mills. A district cannot levy more than 18 mills for operating purposes. Consequently, Hale Area Schools will ask its voters to renew the authorization for the School District to levy this millage on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.
Putting this in simple terms, Hale Area Schools is asking its voters to approve a renewal of the existing 17.9478 mills on non-homestead properties, plus an additional ½ mill which will only be used to mitigate Headlee reductions, in order to bring the district’s total operating levy to the constitutionally allowed 18 mills.
On the ballot
The following is the operating millage renewal proposal as it will appear on the ballot:
HALE AREA SCHOOLS
OPERATING MILLAGE PROPOSAL
This proposal will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of not to exceed 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its full revenue per pupil foundation allowance and restores millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the Michigan Constitution of 1963.
Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Hale Area Schools, Iosco and Ogemaw Counties, Michigan, be renewed by 17.9478 mills ($17.9478 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 10 years, 2024 to 2033, inclusive, and also be increased by .5 mill ($0.50 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 11 years, 2023 to 2033, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and if .06 mill of the above is levied in 2023 is approximately $10,523, and if 18 mills of the above are levied in 2024 is approximately $3,701,052 (this millage is to renew millage that will expire with the 2023 levy and to restore millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and will be levied only to the extent necessary to restore that reduction)?