Northview voters to decide Headlee Override and Sinking Fund Proposals

District voters will decide a pair of proposals on Nov. 6, neither of which would increase residential taxes if approved.

Prop. 1 requests restoration of the Headlee Amendment rollback that expires in 2027. The 1978 amendment automatically “rolls back” the millage rate to equal the rate of inflation in order to keep taxes from increasing more than inflation. It decreases the amount of mills a district can levy, or collect, when property values increase faster than the rate of inflation.

The non-homestead millage affects the state’s per-pupil foundation allowance and is collected locally. If the millage is reduced, the district’s state aid foundation allowance is reduced based on not levying the full 18 mills. During the 2018–2019 school year, that reduction amount will impact the district’s budget by $75,575.

If approved, the ballot initiative would restore the full 18 mills but not impact the tax rate homeowners pay on their primary residences.

“The Headlee Amendment can be confusing, but there’s no confusion about the impact it can have in a school district like ours,” Superintendent Scott Korpak said in a press release. “It means tens of thousands of dollars that we can’t put back into our classrooms to provide the high quality of education that our parents and community expect and that our students deserve.”

Prop. 2 asks whether the district should be able to establish a sinking fund to allow it to take advantage of a 2017 change in state law that allows those funds to be used to pay for security and technology. The new sinking fund would be used to construct secure entrances at all buildings, starting in January with Crossroads Middle. It would expire in May 2025.

Sinking funds such as the one that currently exists in Northview allow only for repair and maintenance of school buildings.

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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