Non-Homestead Millage Renewal: Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I vote in this millage election?

On August 7, 2018, voters in the Lapeer Community School district will be asked to vote on a proposal to renew the current millage levied on non-homestead property (industrial, commercial, business, rental, and second homes). Essentially, this ballot proposal is asking residents to vote on taxes that the business community is required to pay (and are currently paying) under Proposal A to support public schools. This is the law and part of the State Constitution. This proposaldoes not affect the taxes of owner-occupied primary residences – for homeowners, an approval will cost nothing!

How long is this millage for?

If renewed, this millage would be for a period of 10 years – from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2028. The current non-homestead tax levy expires on December 31, 2018.

What happens if this millage does not pass?

Without the non-homestead millage, the State of Michigan would reduce our funding by more than $6 million per school year. That is about 12.4% of our annual Operating Budget! Clearly, passage of this millage is essential to the continuation of the excellent progress we have made in preparing our students for life after graduation.

What is the actual ballot language?

As follows: Shall the limitation on the total amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residences and other property exempted by law, situated within the Lapeer Community Schools, County of Lapeer, State of Michigan, be increased, in the amount of 21 mills with 18 mills being the maximum allowable levy ($18.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation), for a period of ten (10) years, 2019 to 2028, inclusive with 20.6923 mills of the above 21 mills being a renewal and continuation of authorized millage which will otherwise expire on December 31, 2018 and 0.3077 mills of the above 21 mills being a restoration of millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the Michigan Constitution? This operating millage if approved and levied, would provide estimated revenues to the School District of $6,100,000 during the 2019 calendar year, to be used for general operating purposes.

Note: This proposal would RENEW and RESTORE the authority of the District to levy the statutory limit of 18 mills on non-homestead property. This authorization merely allows the District to continue to receive its full per-pupil funding from the State of Michigan.

Why are you asking for 21 mills, when by law, you can only levy 18 mills?

The 1979 Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution added a provision to require a “roll back” in millage rates if the local non-homestead tax base (taxable value) increases more than the rate of inflation. Like many other districts in the state, Lapeer requests that the voters authorize 21 mills even though we can only legally levy 18 mills per year. Thus, if we experience a “Headlee rollback,” we would not have to have another expensive election to restore the business tax.

How much does the levy raise?

The renewal of this levy raises an estimated $6.1 million of the district’s annual general fund budget of $49.2 million.

If approved, how much will the proposal cost me each year?

Primary homeowners, the vast majority of residents in the District, do not pay any tax under this millage. This renewal would cost the typical homeowner nothing.

When and where will the School Election be held?

The election will be on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at your regular voting precinct. All polls will be open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

Who can vote in the August 7 school election?

All voters registered at least 30 days prior to the election and residing within the Lapeer Community School District.

How can I receive an absentee voter application?

Absentee voter applications will be available at every school building, the Administration & Services Center, 250 Second Street in Lapeer, and township and city halls. You can also find an absentee voter application online at michigan.gov/vote.

Where can I get more information about the Non-Homestead Millage Renewal?

Information can be obtained from the District website, lapeerschools.org.

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