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Dual proposals to ask for operating fund renewals

East Grand Rapids — Voters in East Grand Rapids on May 2 will see two school proposals on the ballot: a renewal of the current non-homestead operating millage and another operating millage proposal that would come into effect in the case of a Headlee reduction. Both millages would work together to ensure that the district can levy up to 18 mills in total. 

An operating millage provides funding to support day-to-day school operations, including instructional programs and materials, transportation, maintenance and staffing costs. In Michigan, school districts are required to ask for 18 mills to be levied on non-homestead properties; primary homeowners do not pay this millage. 

EGRPS’ existing operating millage, which will expire after this year, provides the district approximately $1.7 million in operating costs for the current school year.

To continue without a break in funding, the district is asking that the non-homestead operating millage be renewed for six years. This would allow 18 mills to be levied through 2029. 

Voters will also be asked to approve a regular operating millage proposal, which would only go into effect if the district experiences a Headlee reduction of funds. 

The Headlee Amendment, a tax limitation in the Michigan Constitution, requires government entities and schools to reduce millage amounts when annual property values increase greater than the rate of inflation. When or if this happens, a district would not receive its full 18 mills in funding. 

The operating millage proposal on the ballot would allow EGRPS to offset any reductions in funds and bring non-homestead tax levies back up to the state-mandated maximum of 18 mills. This proposal would also be in effect for six years, or through 2029. 

Since both proposals apply to non-homestead properties — meaning business/industrial properties and second homes — a homeowner would not see any tax-rate changes to their primary home property. 

Learn more about the two proposals in a presentation provided by the district

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Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell is associate editor, reporter and copy editor. She is an award-winning journalist who got her professional start as the education reporter for the Grand Haven Tribune. A Calvin University graduate and proud former Chimes editor, she later returned to Calvin to help manage its national writing festival. Beth has also written for The Grand Rapids Press and several West Michigan businesses and nonprofits. She is fascinated by the nuances of language, loves to travel and has strong feelings about the Oxford comma. Read Beth's full bio


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