Voters in the Huron Valley School District will decide on Tuesday, Nov. 6 whether to renew the non-homestead millage for another decade.
The millage renewal represents more than 10 percent of the district’s budget, equating to roughly $1,000 per pupil.
“Our per-pupil foundation state allowance is $6,966 for the current year — the lowest amount not only within the county, but within the state,” said Donna Welch, assistant superintendent of administrative services.
Out of the 28 Oakland County school districts, Huron Valley Schools is tied with South Lyon, Holly, Madison and Brandon for the lowest per-pupil foundation allowance.
“Some districts in the county receive over $11,000 per pupil — some just a few miles away from us. There is an inequity in the county and the state,” Welch said.
The ballot proposal asks to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except principal residences and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its per-pupil foundation allowance and renew the millage that will expire with the 2012 tax levy.
“The state assumes the school district is levying 18 mills, so the $6,966 per-pupil amount assumes the millage passes. Without the non-homestead millage, clearly we would be $1,000 (per-pupil) less than any other school district in Michigan,” Welch said.
The millage would be renewed for 10 years, from 2013 to 2022. Its goal is to provide funds for operating purposes. If approved and levied in 2013, it will generate $9.17 million in the first year.
“This is renewed on a periodic basis and we want to remind voters that this is $9 million each year, 10 percent of our budget, so it’s a pretty big deal and if it doesn’t pass, we will have to hold a special election in May at the cost of $70,000 to the district,” said Director of Communications and Community Relations Kim Root.
She added that the non-homestead millage renewal is placed last on the Nov. 6 general election ballot, so she is encouraging voters to be patient and complete the ballot in its entirety.
“It’s a very long ballot this time with federal, state, and local issues, along with six statewide ballot proposals, so we want to make sure people are aware that our proposal is at the end of the ballot, so please take your time and work all the way through,” Root said.
In effect since 1994, Proposal A mandates that property and business owners can only claim one non-homestead property tax exemption on their principal residence. The homestead millage rate is 6 mills, otherwise property owners are assessed the non-homestead rate of 18 mills.
Voters in the district approved a Headlee Amendment override in May 2006 of 2 mills. Currently the non-homestead rate in Huron Valley is 17.6652 mills. The 0.3348-mill Headlee override will remain in place, allowing the district to renew the levy at the maximum 18 mills, according to Welch.