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May 8, 2013

Voters approve Center Line millage renewal

By Maria Allard
C & G Staff Writer

Voters in Center Line Public Schools said “yes” to a millage renewal that was on the ballot May 7.

The millage renewal included an 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.

According to the unofficial votes provided by the Macomb County Clerk’s Office, there were 1,371 (59.3 percent) “yes” votes while 942 people (40.7 percent) voted “no.”

“On behalf of Center Line Public Schools, thank you to our generous community for the passage of the May 7, 2013 millage renewal,” CLPS Superintendent Eve Kaltz said in a prepared statement. “Great things are in the future for Center Line Public Schools. We appreciate your continued support.”

Prior to the election, school officials stressed the millage was not a bond request or a new tax, but a renewal of existing funding. Renewal of the millages will provide revenue to the district's general operating budget to maintain the current status of programs and staff members.

The non-homestead will generate approximately $3.3 million every year, and the revenue from it is approximately 11 percent of the general fund budget. The hold-harmless would generate approximately $4 million every year. The revenue from the hold-harmless is about 14 percent of the general fund balance.

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.

According to school officials, 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.

In efforts to get the word out about the election, district officials posted an election guide on its website at www.clps.org.

“Renewing the millage allows the district to maintain classes, programs, infrastructure and operations,” the election guides stated. “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. The new millage becomes effective in 2014 and remains for 10 years.

School officials said Tuesday’s election had nothing to do with the district’s two bond proposals, which failed at the polls in 2011 and 2012, respectively.