*Does NOT affect homeowners—only businesses and non-homestead properties
*Generates 22.6 million dollars for the day to day operations of our schools (17% of our funding)
*Voter approval of this allows us to collect our full foundation allowance (If this fails, we would lose $400,000 this year—and that number could increase every year up to the full $22.6 million in a few short years.)
*ZERO increase to the voter approved 18 mill tax rate for businesses.
- What is the Troy School District asking for?
This proposal would continue to give the Troy School District the authority to levy the statutory limit of 18 mills on non-homestead property (principally industrial and commercial real property and residential rental property.) Voters first approved the 18-mill levy in 1994 and renewed it in 2005 and 2015.
It would also give the district a “cushion” to protect against future Headlee rollbacks and allow the School District to levy 18 mills even when our millage rate is “rolled back” as property values rise. Under state law, if we do not levy 18 mills, we cannot collect the full funding (foundation allowance) for each student.
- Will this affect the property tax rate on my home?
No, this millage “replacement and restoration” is ONLY assessed on non-homestead property. Owner occupied homes are exempt. It won’t impact your property taxes at all.
- What does this do to the tax rate for businesses?
Voters approved use to assess 18 mills. This would not change that. If it fails, the tax rate would roll back, and the district would lose approximately $400,000 a year. By law, we can never assess more than 18 mills.
- What is a Headlee rollback and why does it matter to Troy Schools?
The Headlee Amendment, passed in 1978, says that when property values rise faster than inflation, school districts can’t collect on the full value of a non-homestead property. We have to lower the number of mills assessed when annual growth on existing property is greater than the rate of inflation.
For instance, voters in Troy have given us permission to assess 18 mills on non-homestead property. But as the value of that property has risen faster than the rate of inflation, so we could have to “roll back” our millage rate and only levy 17.6 mills for 2018.
This means that approximately $400,000 in funding for students would be lost this year and would climb to the full $22.6 million when the current millage expires. The state does not make up that shortfall and this prevents us from receiving the full foundation allowance for each student.
- So how can we fix this?
The only way to change that (and assess the full amount that voters approved) is to enact a Headlee override, which is exactly what this replacement and restoration millage does. The Troy School District is asking for a three mill “cushion” (for a total of 21 mills) so that if we have to roll back, we are rolling back from 21, not 18, which means we’ll still be able to levy the full 18 mills.
- Does this mean the Troy School District could levy 21 mills?
NO! By law, we cannot levy more than 18 mills to non-homestead properties. This is just a cushion. This merely protects us from falling under the 18 mills with a rollback and ensures that we receive our full foundation allowance from the state for our students. We could never levy more than 18 mills—that is Michigan law.
- What are the revenues used for?
The money the district receives from the Non-Homestead Operating Millage supports the day-to-day operations of the school district, including salaries for teachers and staff, and represents approximately 17% ($22.6 million) of the overall General Fund budget.
- Who is eligible to vote?
Registered voters living in the Troy School District are eligible to vote. If you have not yet registered to vote, you must register by October 9, 2018. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to vote.
- When is Election Day, who is eligible to vote—and where do I vote?
Election Day is Tuesday, November 6 and polls are open from 7am-8pm. You can find out your precinct location for voting and other information on the City of Troy Election website: https://troymi.gov/departments/city_clerk/election_information.php
- What is the wording on the ballot?
TROY SCHOOL DISTRICT
COUNTY OF OAKLAND
STATE OF MICHIGAN
REPLACEMENT OPERATING MILLAGE PROPOSAL
This proposal would restore and replace the authority of the School District to levy the statutory limit of 18 mills on non-homestead property (principally industrial and commercial real property and residential rental property) which currently expires with the School District’s 2025 tax levy and allow the School District to continue to levy the statutory limit of 18 mills on non-homestead property in the event of future Headlee rollbacks of up to 3 mills. The authorization will allow the School District to continue to receive revenues at the full per pupil foundation allowance permitted by the State. Under existing law, the School District will levy no more than 18 mills on non-homestead property. Owner occupied homes and qualified agricultural property are exempt from this levy.
Shall the limitation on the total amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residences and other property exempted by law, situated within the Troy School District, County of Oakland, State of Michigan, be increased, in the amount of 21 mills with 18 mills being the maximum allowable levy ($18.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation), for a period of eight (8) years, 2018 to 2025, inclusive with 17.684 mills of the above 21 mills being a replacement of authorized millage which will otherwise expire on December 31, 2025 and 0.316 mills of the above 21 mills being a restoration of millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the Michigan Constitution? This operating millage if approved and levied, would provide estimated revenues to the School District of $22,644,260 during the 2018 calendar year, to be used for general operating purposes.
- Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact Kerry Birmingham, Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives for the Troy School District with any questions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-823-4035. You may also call Rick West, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services at email@example.com or 248-823-4022.