WARREN/CENTER LINE — Voters who reside in Center Line Public Schools are asked to visit the polls for a special election May 7.
There are two millage renewals that voters will be asked to consider: the 18-mill property tax on business, industrial and second home properties, known as non-homestead; and a 16.5354 ($16.5354 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) millage (hold-harmless) renewal on their primary home.
School officials have stressed that the millage is not a bond request or a new tax, but a renewal of existing funding. Renewal of the millages provides revenue to the district’s general operating budget to maintain the current status of programs and staff members.
“On May 7, we will ask our community to renew our operational millage,” superintendent Eve Kaltz said. “We have spent a great deal of time out in our community sharing information about this renewal, and the wonderful programs we offer our students. This is a critical renewal and I ask for your support.”
According to school officials, the millage will not raise taxes since it maintains current levels of funding. The non-homestead affects only commercial property, rentals and second homesteads. It does not include a family’s primary residence.
“The millage is accountable for approximately 25 percent of the district’s operating budget. The millage does not add any new funds or equipment, but is critical to keeping operations running within the school district,” the district’s election guide via the school website stated. “The millage will allow the district to keep quality programs for students. The millage will not take away any programs.
“Renewing the millage allows the district to maintain classes, programs, infrastructure and operations,” according to the election guide. “It does not provide any funding to make major improvements.”
Voters last approved both millages in 2004, and those millages are both subject to periodic renewal. If the millages are approved Tuesday, they remain in effect until 2024.
The non-homestead would generate approximately $3.3 million the first year, and the revenue from it is approximately 11 percent of the general fund budget.
The hold-harmless would generate approximately $4 million the first year. The revenue from the hold-harmless is about 14 percent of the general fund balance.
“Both millages combined are approximately $7.3 million, which is approximately about 25 percent of our revenue,” the election guide stated. “The school district would lose that level of funding for the 2014-2015 school year and going forward if they are not renewed.”
School officials also pointed out the May 7 election has nothing to do with the two bond proposals, which failed at the polls in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Voting poll hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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