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Non-homestead millage approved by Lakeview voters

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 11, 2020

File photo

With nearly 4,000 votes in favor, the Lakeview Public Schools operating millage proposal passed March 10.

The renewal of the operating millage for nonhomestead properties was approved with a vote of 3,964, or 67.3%, in favor, compared with 1,929, or 32.7% opposed. 

The approval allows Lakeview to continue to levy 18 mills on non-homestead properties, like businesses, second homes and rentals. 

“I think we were comfortable thinking our voters would support our nonhomestead millage, but we’re never cocky,” said Superintendent Karl Paulson, adding that he believed the approval was “a demonstration of the voters being educated and making a decision on the facts.”

The Lakeview Board of Education decided to submit ballot language for a 4-year renewal of 18.3055 mills on non-homestead property for the period of 2021-2024, and an increase of 0.5 mills for the same period to offset the Headlee Rollback.

Paulson said that the Board of Education had been discussing the millage renewal since the summer of 2019, so he believed that the transparency and continued education on the question was key to its passing.

Nevertheless, Paulson said he understands and respects those who were opposed to the millage renewal, but it was something that was needed for the continued operation of the district. 

“This is the budget for the district, it’s something that we already had. This was a renew and restore, not something that was new,” he said. 

Macomb County voters also approved the Macomb County Intermediate School enhancement millage, which Paulson said will provide a little over $400 per student to students in all public school districts and charter schools in the county. 

“It’s general fund money that has, basically, no restrictions,” he said. 

In Lakeview Public Schools, he said the money would go straight to student programming.

“This is a support by our voters and now it’s our responsibility to be prudent about the way we use it,” he said. 

Districts in Wayne, Kent and Washtenaw counties already have this sort of a support millage in place, Paulson said.

“Macomb was behind the ball,” he said. “I think it puts us on a more level playing field for our kids.”