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Non-homestead millage renewal on twp. ballot



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October 24, 2012 - Passage of a non-homestead millage renewal by voters in the Brandon School District is critical for school operations.

"This (the millage renewal) is very important to us—it brings in $1.6 million and if we don't pass it, the state doesn't make up that money, we just don't have it," said Superintendent Lorrie McMahon, who has been questioned by district residents on the ballot request, but has not received positive or negative feedback on the millage renewal.

She does have concerns that voters may not understand the millage renewal does not apply to personal property.

"My house and their house is not taxed," McMahon emphasized. "This is not for primary residences, it applies to vacation homes and businesses."

Passage of the proposal will renew a millage that would expire with the 2012 tax levy. Since 1995, the state has allowed the district to levy up to 18 mills on non-homesteads—essentially businesses or secondary residences in the community. The millage was put in place for districts as part of Proposal A, the Headlee Amendment. The district currently levies about 17.9 mills on non-homesteads, which represents about $1,678,307 in funding annually. The district is not requesting the full 18 mills.

The ballot language for the non-homestead millage renewal will read:

"Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation of 17.9496 mills ($17.9496 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Brandon School District in the counties of Oakland and Lapeer, Michigan, be renewed for a period of 6 years, 2013 to 2018, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2012 is approximately $1,600,000 (this is a renewal of millage which will expire with the 2012 tax levy)?"

McMahon hopes the answer is yes.

"This is essential for our operations to keep the district in the black and operating," she said. "Voters in Brandon are very, very supportive of the school district and we hope they continue to be."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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