Voters asked to renew nonhomestead millage in March

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published January 6, 2016

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/HARRISON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — L’Anse Creuse Public Schools will be asking voters to renew a decades-old nonhomestead millage during the presidential primary in March.

According to Superintendent Jackie Johnston, the millage will not raise the taxes for the average homeowner. Locally, the non-homestead millage is an existing 18 mills levy on second homes, including vacation homes and rental homes, as well as on commercial and agricultural property.

“This is also a renewal, which is important to know,” Johnston said in an educational video available to all L’Anse Creuse voters. “Businesses in L’Anse Creuse and across Michigan have been paying this for the past 20 years.”

Community and Public Relations Coordinator Kelly Allen said the millage funds 13 percent of the district’s operating budget each year and supports funding supplies, educational items and salaries for all district employees.

“It’s unlike a bond, which would be used for buildings and different electronic upgrades,” she said. “This is for our everyday operations; costs to educate students.”

Since the adoption of Proposal A in 1994, school funding was structured to include an 18-mill nonhomestead tax that requires periodic renewal. Industry, rental, vacant land and second-home property owners will pay taxes to support educational programming within the community in which they are located. In order for the school district to receive its full pupil foundation allowance from the state, the district must levy 18 mills.

The authorized nonhomestead millage for L’Anse Creuse Public Schools is scheduled to expire in 2016.

Like many other districts, L’Anse Creuse is requesting voter approval for the authority for more than 18 mills (18.5352 mills or $18.5352 on every $1,000 of taxable valuation) to guard against losing money due to a roll backs in the millage rate caused by the Headlee amendment. By approving over 18 mills, voters can help guarantee a more stable budget for the district by ensuring the district is able to collect taxes on nonhomestead property at the full 18 mills.

School officials say that without a renewal, per pupil funding levels will drop to the lowest in the county, resulting in a $14 million annual loss to the district’s operational budget.

In addition, if the proposal is defeated, the millage rate for homeowners will not be reduced, however, taxes on industry, rentals and second-home properties would be reduced.

“The voters have approved this twice now at the exact same 18 mills. There is not increase or decrease,” Allen said.

The Macomb County Chamber recently endorsed the millage.

“Because the schools and the community go together,” Allen said.

The last day to register to vote in the March 8 presidential primary is Feb. 8.

For a schedule of upcoming nonhomestead millage educational presentations, go to the district’s website at www.lc-ps.org.

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