Millage Overview

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Center Line Public Schools will be seeking a renewal of its current operating millage, commonly referred to as the “Hold-Harmless” Millage.  Here are some points to explain what the millage is and is not in clear terms: 

  • The millage IS a renewal of existing funding.
    • …..The millage is NOT a new tax or a bond.
  • The millage IS funding that “maintains the status quo” at Center Line Public Schools.
    • …..The millage will NOT raise taxes, since it just maintains current levels of funding.
  • The millage IS accountable for approximately 25% of the districts operating budget.
    • …..The millage does NOT add any new funds or equipment, but is critical to keeping operations running within the school district.
  • The millage WILL allow the district to keep quality programs for students.
    • …..The millage WILL NOT take away any programs.

For more information on the effects of the millage renewal on the district, including areas such as, curriculum, human resources, technology, and operations, please download and read the latest issue of the CLPS Innovator – Spring 2013 (PDF)

(note: Adobe Reader or similar PDF viewer required for viewing)

For a deeper understanding of how millage funding works, please see the article below by CLPS Business Services Director, Cynthia Schwark:

(NOTE: Article originally appeared in the CLPS Innovator Newsletter, Winter 2013 Edition)

Renewal of Non-Homestead and ‘Hold Harmless’ Millage Sought at May  Election

At a special election set for Tuesday, May 7, 2013, voters in Center Line Public Schools will be asked to approve a renewal of the 18 mill property tax that is currently levied on business, industrial and second home properties (known as non-homestead properties) in the district.  Voters will also be asked to renew the 16.5354 ($16.5354 on each $1,000.00 of taxable valuation) millage on their primary homes (known as the ‘hold harmless’ millage). 

Voters last approved the non-homestead millage and ‘hold harmless’ millage in 2004. Both millages are subject to periodic renewal by the local voters. If the millages are renewed on May 7, the non-homestead and ‘hold harmless’ levy would remain in effect for another ten years. 

The non-homestead millage generates approximately $3.3 million. The revenue from the non-homestead millage is approximately 11 percent of the general fund budget. The 18 mill non-homestead millage affects only commercial property, rentals and second homesteads.  It does not include a family’s primary residence.  Funding for school districts changed significantly in 1994 when Proposal A was passed by the Michigan voters.  Under Proposal A, the State pays the majority of the cost, but to receive full funding, schools must levy 18 mills on non-homestead property in their district.  Districts receive most of their funding on a per-pupil basis.  The amount a school district receives per-pupil is called the Foundation Allowance.  The per-pupil Foundation Allowance for Center Line Public Schools is $9,353.  This represents the major portion of Center Line’s revenue and is funded from 2 sources:  1.) Local Revenue – 18 mills collected on non-homestead property, and 2.) State Revenue.  The school district would lose the $3.3 million of funding for the 2014-15 school year and going forward until the millage is renewed.

The hold-harmless supplemental millage generates approximately $4 million. The revenue from the supplemental millage is approximately 14 percent of general fund budget.  As part of the statewide school finance reform effort known as Proposal A of 1994, the electorate of the Center Line Public Schools passed the first Hold Harmless millage proposal on February 27, 1993.  It was then renewed in 1996.  The current millage, voted in on September 2004, authorized the district to continue to levy up to 16.5354 mills on homestead property for the purpose of collecting $1,467.35 per pupil so the district would be able to collect its full foundation allowance under the State School Aid Act.  The school district would lose $4 million dollars in funding for the 2014-15 school year and going forward if the millage is not renewed.

Prior to 1994 Center Line Public Schools was known as an “out-of-formula” district because the value of taxable property on a per pupil basis was higher than state averages, therefore disqualifying Center Line for any financial aid from the state.  When Proposal A passed, the major source of funding for public schools became a combination of state property taxes, state sales taxes, and local property taxes rather than primarily local property taxes.  The district was required to pass the Hold Harmless millage in order to continue pre-Proposal A funding levels and therefore be “held harmless”.  This millage expires June 30, 2014, making it necessary to ask for a renewal of the millage in order to maintain current funding levels in the district.

Both millages combined are approximately $7.3 million.  The school district would lose that level of funding for the 2014-15 school year and going forward if they are not renewed.

The revenue from both millages represents approximately 25 percent of our budget.


To view of the entire CLPS Innovator – Winter 2013 (PDF) newsletter and learn about all the great things Center Line Public Schools accomplishes each year (note: Adobe Reader or similar PDF viewer required for viewing).

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