Non-Homestead Operating Millage Proposal » Non-Homestead Operating Millage

Non-Homestead Operating Millage

On Tuesday, May 7, 2024, voters in the Thornapple Kellogg School District will be asked to vote to renew the 18 mills operating tax levy.
Voters approved similar ten-year non-homestead operating tax levy renewals in 1995, 2005, and 2014.  The proposal will ask voters to again renew the 18 mills operating tax levy to fully fund Thornapple Kellogg Schools, as prescribed by state law.  The non-homestead operating tax levy equates to more than $3.8 million each year and represents over 8% of the district's annual general fund budget.
What is an operating millage? This is NOT a tax on primary residences. It is known as a “non-homestead operating tax” because primary residences are exempt from the tax. School districts must levy a local property tax of 18 mills on non-homestead property - industrial, commercial, business, rental, and second homes - in order for the district to receive its full per-pupil funding from the State of Michigan.

Is this a new tax?  NO. This proposal is a renewal of the non-primary residence property tax last approved by voters in 2014.  The term requested for the renewal is ten (10) years.

Will property taxes on my primary residence go up if this passes?  No. Your primary residence tax rate will remain the same. In fact, for both homeowners and businesses alike, nothing will change: homeowners don’t pay this tax and businesses will simply continue paying it. 

Why is there a request for 0.5 additional mill?  Districts often request additional mills to create a buffer when the full 18 mills are reduced by the Headlee Amendment. At no point can a school district levy more than 18 mills, but your approval of the additional mill ensures our students will always receive the full foundation allowance allowed by law.

What would happen if this doesn’t pass?  If not approved, Thornapple Kellogg Schools would lose more than $3.8 million per year from our general operating fund.  There is no other way to receive these dollars except by voter approval and renewal.  Losing these funds would have a major impact on the quality of the educational programming offered to our students.