EGR Millage Vote Is Today

East Grand Rapids Public Schools voters will go to the polls today on a trio of tax requests.

Two of the district’s millage renewal requests are for the state-authorized non-homestead tax on industrial and commercial properties, which does not include primary residences. The third is for capital repairs and improvements.

Proposal 1 will ask voters to renew that core 17.1 mills for four years, 2016 to 2019, while Proposal Il authorizes an additional two mills.

The third question, a proposed building and site sinking fund renewal for capital repairs and improvements, is for a levy not to exceed 0.5 mill for a period of 10 years, 2016 to 2025. The district would collect an estimated $344,987 in 2016.

Kevin Philipps, assistant superintendent for business, said voters will see the three questions because the district’s revenue is reduced by the Headlee amendment, which limits increases to the rate of inflation. Because of that, this year EGR only levied 17.1 mills, even though 18 mills is the norm and maximum non-homestead millage that can be levied.

He said this school year the district lost $55,000 due to the Headlee reduction, because state funding assumes the local community will provide the full 18 mills allowed by law. State aid makes up the difference between the per-pupil foundation grant and the amount generated by the 18-mill non homestead tax. The district can only levy the 18, but the additional two mills protects EGR if it suffers Headlee reductions in the future, Philipps said.

If all three questions are approved, the owner of a home valued at $300,000 would continue to pay about $75 a year for the renewals.

CONNECT

District Seeks Tax Renewals, Full Headlee Funding

Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio

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