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Hartland Consolidated Schools

Hartland Consolidated Schools
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Non-Homestead Millage Renewal and Restoration Proposal

Remember to VOTE May 2, 2023

Remember to VOTE May 2, 2023

About the Proposal

On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, voters in the Hartland Consolidated School District will be asked to renew and restore the full 18 mills on non-homestead properties for its operating budget through 2028. This millage has been in existence since Proposal A went into effect in 1994 and was last approved by voters in 2018. For residential homestead property owners, this millage will cost you nothing other than your time to vote.
 
Important Facts:
  • This proposal has no impact on residential or most agricultural property
  • This is a renewal and restoration of the current 18 mills that voters last approved in May 2018
  • This is NOT a new tax.  It is an existing levy on commercial, business, and rental properties within our district.
  • Generates approximately $5.5M annually for district operations
  • Funds cannot be replaced by other sources

Background

In March 1994, Michigan voters approved Proposal A, which completely changed how Michigan public schools were funded. Proposal A shifted the primary source of school funding from local property taxes to state sales taxes, and as a result, significantly reduced property tax rates for homeowners. For example, the Hartland Consolidated Schools operating millage on homestead properties was 37 mills prior to Proposal A. After Proposal A, the operating millage was reduced to 6 mills, and remains at that amount to this day. The 6 mills levied on homestead properties is sent directly to Lansing, and is combined with other taxes such as sales tax, income tax, liquor/tobacco tax, and lottery revenues to make up the State School Aid Fund. The School Aid Fund then provides school districts with a “foundation allowance,” which is currently $9,150 per pupil in 2022/23. However, the state assumes districts will collect 18 mills on non-homestead properties locally and deducts this amount from the foundation allowance provided. In order to collect the 18 mills on non-homestead properties, state statute requires a district-wide election to approve the millage. Should voters not approve this levy, the district is not made whole.

Questions and Answers

What is Non-Homestead property?
Non-homestead property refers to commercial, industrial, rental and vacation property. It does not include a family’s primary residence.
 
Is this a new tax?
NO! This levy has been in place since 1995. This is a renewal and restoration of the 18 mills last approved by voters back in May 2018.

Will my residential school taxes increase?
If the only property you own in the Hartland Consolidated School District is your primary residence, this millage will not cost you anything. The tax is levied on non-homestead properties only.

What happens if the millage doesn’t pass?
The 18 mills assessed on non-homestead properties amounts to approximately $5.5 million annually to support operations including instructional resources, classroom supplies, and teachers. This funding is essential to maintaining the current programs offered by the district. Should the millage not be approved, the district cannot replace this funding with any other source, and those revenues would be lost. Hartland Consolidated Schools would be required to reduce or cut programs to offset the loss.

What will the ballot language look like?
“Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation on the amount of taxes which may be
assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Hartland Consolidated Schools, Livingston County, Michigan, be renewed by 17.8939 mills ($17.8939 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 5 years, 2024 to 2028, inclusive, and also be increased by .1061 mill ($0.1061 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 6 years, 2023 to 2028, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and 18 mills are levied in 2024 is approximately $5,529,032 (this is a renewal of millage that will expire with the 2023 levy and a restoration of millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963)?”

Why does the ballot language mention an increase?
The Michigan Constitution requires that millage rates be “rolled back” if taxable values increase more than the rate of inflation. As a result of this roll-back provision, the district is currently only able to levy 17.8939 mills instead of the full 18 mills. The ballot is asking voters to renew the 17.8939 mills, and increase the 1.061 mills in order to restore the millage rate back to the full 18 mills beginning with the 2023 levy.
 
Where can I vote?
In general, residents of the Hartland Consolidated Schools district will vote in the same location for the school election as when voting in a general election. If you are unsure of your voting location or have questions about absentee voting, please contact your township clerk, or visit the Michigan Voter Information Center: https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/

Contact

If you have any additional questions about the non-homestead millage renewal election, please contact Chuck Hughes, Superintendent or Rachel Bois, Chief Financial Officer at 810-626-2100.