Local millage renewals are approved

CALUMET/HANCOCK – Two local school districts conducted elections for millage renewals Tuesday, and the two superintendents are pleased with the results.

The Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw conducted an election to renew its 10-year, 18 mill levy, which passed 348 to 81. The Hancock Public Schools’ election to renew its 18 mill levy passed 185 to 43. The Hancock voters also approved another 1 mill to be used only in the case of a Headlee rollback.

Monica Healy, Hancock Public Schools superintendent, said the results of the election for the 18 mill renewal were “very impressive.”

“It’s nice to know the confidence the people in the district have in us,” she said.

The 5-year operational millage is for non-homestead property, including rental property, second or vacation homes, business and commercial property. It is not for primary residences.

Healy said the 18 mill levy generates about $940,000 for the district. The state allows the district $7,026 in aid per pupil, but the state provides only $5,891 per pupil. The remaining $1,135 comes from the district’s 18 mill levy.

The approval of the other 1 mill will be a big help to Healy and the school board, if needed.

“When we’re doing our budget, we can count on the 18 (mills), even if there is a Headlee rollback,” she said.

As an example, Healy said if a Headlee rollback reduced the operating millage to 17.5 mills, .5 of the other 1 mill would be used to restore the 18 mills.

This is the wording for the Headlee Amendment passed by Michigan voters in 1978: “The Headlee rollback factor is a result of the Headlee amendment of 1978, which included a provision that a community’s total tax base should not increase faster than the inflation rate (after adjusting for new property additions or losses). The Headlee implementing legislation rolls back the maximum authorized millage rate for each taxing jurisdiction, to the extent that the total tax base increases more than the rate of inflation.”

The current C-L-K 10-year non-homestead 18 millage, which is approximately 12 percent, or about $1.7 million, of the district budget, will expire in December. It brings the district $1,163.64 per pupil, with $5,862.36 per-pupil coming from the state.

Darryl Pierce, C-L-K superintendent, said he’s pleased the voters appreciate the need for education.

“We thank the C-L-K community for their continued support of their school district,” he said. “The overwhelming margin (of the vote) shows the importance district residents place on education and the youth of this area.”