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Voters asked to renew Boyne schools millage, approve Headlee override

At its regular Jan. 8 monthly meeting, the Boyne City Public Schools Board of Education authorized an election in May to renew its Operating Millage and a Headlee Override proposal.

The vote passed unanimously by members in attendance.

The election will be held on May 8.

Absentee ballots may be used to vote as early as March 24.

According to school officials, approval of these two measures will not lead to an increase in taxes.

Boyne City Public Schools voters approved the last two Operating Millages, in 2012 and 2006.

The Operating Millage renewal occurs every six to 10 years for most public school districts.

Voters are asked to reaffirm current taxes for non-PRE property in the district.

Non-PRE property (Principal Residence Exemption) was formerly known as non-homestead property. Examples of Non-PRE property are vacation homes, rental property, businesses or most any other non-principal residence property.

State law mandates that every school district levy this tax or lose a significant portion of their state school aid Foundation Allowance, which would potentially result in cuts to classroom instructional programs.

Renewing the tax levy will help ensure the school district maintains its current level of services to students and the community.

Residents who only own the property and a house where they live, or own qualified agricultural property, are not affected by this millage.

Every registered, resident voter of the district age 18 and over may vote in this election.

The Operating Millage amount will be 18.1997 mills for six years, if approved.

Legally, a district may not collect millage taxes in an amount greater than 18 mills per year for the Operating Millage.

However, the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution in 1978 requires a local unit of government to reduce its millage when annual growth on existing property is greater than the rate of inflation.

This trend is likely to continue in Boyne City Schools and likely will cause the district to collect a little bit less each year of the six years.

However, 18 mills is needed for basic operations of the district.

This leads to the second proposal, the Headlee Override Proposal. This 1 mill proposal is for seven years and is collected only if needed.

It is a “safety net” to ensure that if the Headlee Rollback takes the district’s collection for Operating Millage below 18 mills, the Override would bring the taxation back to, but never over, 18 mills.

By state law, these Headlee Override Millage funds are used exactly the same as operating funds.

Residents with questions about this proposal should contact Superintendent Pat Little at (231) 439-8190 or plittle@Boyne.k12.mi.us.

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