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November Ballot Proposal for Renewal of LAS Operating Millage
November Ballot Proposal for Renewal of LAS Operating Millage
On the Tuesday, November 6th election, voters in several Michigan school districts will be asked to renew or restore the primary operating millage which those districts levy on non-homestead properties. In most cases, districts are either asking that voters renew the 18-mill operating millage that is levied on non-homestead properties or to override rollbacks to that millage mandated by the Headlee Amendment. One mill equals $1 in tax for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value. In Michigan, school districts get the bulk of their operation funding from two main sources: local property taxes and state school aid. Because of the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution approved by voters in 1978, non-homestead millage levies may be “rolled back” over time. To offset this, many districts ask for a non-homestead millage of more than 18 mills with the understanding that the district can never levy more than 18 mills at any one time. The additional millage above 18 mills only comes into play in the event that a Headlee millage rollback occurs, and then only to the extent necessary to bring the millage back up to 18 mills. The millage approved above the 18 mill amount essentially serves as a cushion against future Headlee Amendment rollbacks for the life of the millage request. This is similar to the current situation for L’Anse Area Schools.

L'Anse Area Schools will ask voters to renew a 18-mill non-homestead property tax levy for school operations in November of 2018. Since the millage levy was rolled back to 17.9442 mills in 2017 due to a Headlee Rollback, only 17.942 of the 18 mills can be called a renewal. The district is also seeking a .5 mill to provide a cushion for possible future Headlee Rollbacks. The additional .5 mill would only be levied to the extent necessary to reinstate any Headlee reduction back to the full 18-mill levy. For 2018, it is estimated that about 0.0558 mills will be needed to offset the rollback, and generate about $3,874 in operational revenue. If the school only asked for the current 17.9442 mills in non-homestead taxes, the rollback would make the millage less than 18 mills, and the district would not get its full funding from the state. The district would then have to ask voters to come back for a special election to override Headlee in order to get proper state funding. If the November 2018 ballot proposal is approved by the voters, the district will still only be legally allowed to levy 18 mills as that is the maximum allowed by state law.

Almost every school district in the state of Michigan, has an 18 mill operational millage on non-homestead property and unlike other millages, non-homestead millages do not tax primary residences, but apply only to other property, such as rental properties, second homes and commercial and industrial businesses. It's a continuation of what we have done for many years, and in order to receive their per-pupil state funding, districts have to levy a non-homestead property tax limited at 18 mills. It’s crucial for voters to approve it, because the operational millage pays for day-to-day expenses ranging from employee compensation and classroom supplies to maintenance and transportation.

In the past, L’Anse Area Schools has had the operational millage renewed about every 5 years. The current non-homestead property tax millage for L’Anse Area Schools expires in 2019. If it’s not renewed, the school district could lose a great deal of operating revenue which is essential to the district. According to Superintendent Tollefson, “If this doesn’t go through, it would be devastating for our kids. It is very difficult for any school to survive without the operational millage in place. It actually represents approximately $1.2 million per year and we have about a $6.8 million dollar budget. If the November vote fails, the proposal would be on the ballot again in May or August, prior to the expiration date. This is not an increase in taxes - it’s just maintaining the same levy since Proposal A. I want to reassure taxpayers that the district is being a good steward of their tax dollars. We refinanced the bonds from the 2000 construction and we have downsized the busing routes and the number of staff as our enrollment has declined.”
 
 

 

SELECT A NEWS BRIEF

OCTOBER 10, 2018
Hornet Highlights ~ Oct. 5

OCTOBER 1, 2018
November Ballot Proposal for Renewal of LAS Operating Millage

AUGUST 20, 2018
NEW! Make Lunch Account Payments Online!

AUGUST 14, 2018
Athletic Passes Now Available!

AUGUST 14, 2018
School Supplies!

JULY 9, 2018
2018-19 Calendar

JULY 2, 2018
2018 - 2019 Calendar!

 

 

 

For more athletics information, view Schedule Star.
 

The L’Anse Area School is a drug/alcohol/tobacco-free campus
for everyone including students, faculty, parents, and community members.

Susan Tollefson
Superintendent
stollefson@laschools.us

L’Anse Area Schools Central Office
201 North 4th Street  •  L’Anse, Michigan 49946  •  906.524.6000
Tel

  

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