The Non-Homestead Tax Renewal
Prior to Proposal A’s passing in 1994, schools were mostly funded based on property taxes. As property values increased and decreased, funding was a moving target and very difficult for public schools to budget. In addition, districts where home and property values were high received more money than districts where home and property values were low. As a result, schools that needed money the most got far less funding.
Proposal A shifted most of the burden of school funding from property value to a per-pupil amount of state funding. Every school district has a base funding of 18 mills. That 18 mills is paid by businesses and owners of second homes in our school district. Every few years, voters are asked to approve the 18 mills (known as the Non-Homestead Tax).
Why You Should Vote Yes on May 2:
The last time the Grandville school district asked voters to approve the Non-Homestead Tax was in 2013 for a ten-year period. At that time property, assessments were pretty stable. In 2016, property assessments began to rise faster than the rate of inflation, which kicked in the Headlee amendment in the proposal. The Headlee amendment says property taxes can’t go up faster than the rate of inflation, or it would be balanced by lowering the 18 mill base fund. That base fund couldn’t be raised back to 18 mills until the next vote.
As a result, Grandville’s 18 mill base fund began dropping to where it is currently, at 16.8422 mills. A YES vote in May will restore it back to 18 mills. The district is asking for 19 mills so if it continues to drop, that extra mill will replenish it, but they can not implement more than 18 mills at any time.
The district also decided instead of making this another 10 year commitment, they will ask for a 4 year commitment which gives them an opportunity to see if assessments of property values level out over that time.
For most people in the school district, a “yes” vote will not raise their taxes. It simply restores the fund base to 18 mills. Again, the only ones that pay this tax are the businesses and people who own second homes in the school district.
If the request to renew the non-homestead tax were to be voted down, the school district would lose 15.7 million dollars. With 85% of the school budget being salary and benefits for employees, it’s not hard to see programs and classes would be cut, teachers laid off, and class sizes would go up. This would be a disaster!
You can find more answers about the millage by visiting the FAQ on the GPS website.
Vote yes on May 2!
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