FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS MEANT BY HOMESTEAD AND NON-HOMESTEAD PROPERTIES?
When Michigan voters passed Proposal A in 1993, Michigan’s property taxes for schools were restructured and reduced. Property was divided into two categories: homestead and non-homestead. A homestead property is your primary residence (the home where you live). Non-homestead properties include land and buildings such as businesses, rental properties and vacation homes that have not been designated as a primary residence.
IS THIS A NEW TAX?
The 18 mills, which have been in place since 1994 when Proposal A was adopted, is not considered a new tax. Hartford voters last approved a levy for 18 mills on non-homestead property 5 years ago. The current millage expires with the 2021 tax levy. The additional 0.5 mill, which would be levied only to the extent necessary to permit the School District to continue to levy the maximum 18 mills, is considered a new tax.
WHY IS THIS ISSUE ON THE BALLOT NOW?
Under Proposal A, renewal of the 18 mills is required periodically by voters in order for the District to continue collecting this millage. Because our authorization expires in 2021, voters must approve the millage proposal in order to permit the School District to continue collecting these dollars, which help maintain Hartford’s educational programs.
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT HOMEOWNERS?
This millage renewal will not change the taxes on your primary residence. It is a renewal on non-homestead properties only, such as business properties and second homes.
HOW MUCH OF OUR LOCAL SCHOOL BUDGET DOES THIS NON-HOMESTEAD MILLAGE FUND?
The current levy of 18 mills that voters are being asked to consider is used to fund a significant part of the School District’s operating budget. Approximately 5.8% or about $967,000 of the annual budget comes from the levy of the 18-mills non-homestead operating millage.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THIS MILLAGE DOES NOT PASS?
If the request for the renewal of the 18 mills non-homestead operating millage is not approved by the voters, Hartford Public Schools would lose about $967,000 (5.8%) of funding for each school year. Voter approval is the only way the District can receive these dollars. Losing about $967,000 of the District’s operating budget would have a major impact on the educational programs offered to students and the community. The non-homestead operating millage proposal allows the District to continue providing a safe learning environment for all students, teachers and staff, along with technology that helps prepare our students for college, technical school, and apprenticeships or jobs right after graduation.
WHEN IS THE ELECTION?
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE DO I VOTE?
Voting will take place at the regular polling locations for all elections which have been designated by your local township clerk.
WHERE CAN I GET ANSWERS?
For other questions that you have about the non-homestead operating millage proposal, please call us at: 269-621-7000
Hartford Public Schools
Operating Millage Proposal
This proposal will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of not to exceed 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its full revenue per pupil foundation allowance and restores millage lost as a result of the reduction required by Michigan Constitution of 1963.
Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Hartford Public Schools, Van Buren County, Michigan, be renewed by 18 mills ($18.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 5 years, 2022 to 2026, inclusive, and also be increased by .5 mill ($0.50 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 5 years, 2022 to 2026, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and 18 mills are levied in 2022 is approximately $966,731 (this is a renewal of millage that will expire with the 2021 levy and the addition of millage which will be levied only to the extent necessary to restore millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963)?