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Metro Detroit school district’s clever move to safeguard finances.

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TLDR:

Several Metro Detroit school districts are proposing election maneuvers to protect their finances from Headlee “roll back” and ensure stable funding for operations. This includes asking voters for more than the standard 18 mills to levy on non-homestead property, with some districts increasing their ask to hedge against potential reductions due to Headlee. The proposals aim to maintain a constant 18 mills that won’t be rolled back through property tax growth, ensuring schools can collect the full amount approved by voters.

Article Summary:

Metro Detroit school districts are adapting their financial strategies to protect their funding from Headlee “roll back” and ensure stable revenue for operations. The Headlee tax limitation amendment in Michigan limits state spending and can result in millage rate reductions if property tax growth exceeds the rate of inflation.

To counter the potential impact of Headlee, a dozen Metro Detroit school districts are asking for more than the standard 18 mills to levy on non-homestead property. This higher ask provides a hedge against potential rollbacks, allowing districts to collect the full amount approved by voters for operations.

Some districts, such as Lake Orion in Oakland County, are proposing to increase their millage rate to 21 mills, while others like Melvindale-North Allen Park in Wayne County seek approval for up to 28 mills. These maneuvers aim to ensure stable funding and protect against potential reductions in revenue due to Headlee.

The proposals essentially ask voters to approve a constant 18 mills that won’t be reduced through property tax growth, ensuring that districts can maintain the full amount approved by voters for operations. By increasing their ask above 18 mills, districts are positioning themselves to secure the necessary funding to support educational programs and services.

Overall, the election maneuvers being proposed by Metro Detroit school districts highlight the ongoing challenges of school finance in Michigan and the need for districts to adapt their strategies to protect their finances and ensure stable funding for operations.


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