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BHS operating millage renewal on August ballot

By Lisa Brody


The Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education has approved placing a millage renewal proposal on the August 6 ballot, requesting approval from voters to renew the schools' operating millage for 20 years.


The current operating millage expires with the 2025 levy. According to the school district, the new operating millage renewal is comprised of two parts, a renewal of the 18 mill non-homestead operating millage and a renewal of the hold harmless millage, which is currently 5.1338 mills.


Non-homestead properties consist of principally industrial, commercial real property and residential rental property or non-primary residences. In a memo, Kandice Moynihan, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, explained that the district can levy up to 9.65 mills on primary residences and protect against the impact of future Headlee rollbacks of up to 4 mills for a period of 20 years, allowing the school district to continue levying up to $3,835 per pupil, necessary to receive the full per pupil foundation allowance per state funding,


The first year of the new operating levy would be 2026, where it is expected to raise $18.3 million.


“The school district estimates that it will levy not more than 5.1338 mills on personal residences (owner occupied homes) in 2024,” Moynihan said.


Combined, the millage rates provide $34. 3 million of operating revenue to the school district, representing 31 percent of the school district's total operating budget.


These are not new taxes for property owners; it is a continuation of the current taxes levied for the school district to receive its full state aid foundation allowance, Moynihan and district superintendent Keith McDonald said.


The ballot language for the August 6 proposal reads:


This proposal would renew the authority of the School District, which expires with the 2025 tax levy, to levy up to 18.00 mills for general school district operating purposes on taxable property in the School District to the extent that such property is not exempt from such levy, restrict the levy on principal residences (owner-occupied homes) to no more than 9.65 mills and protect against the impact of future Headlee rollbacks of up to 4.0 mills, This authorization would allow the School District to continue to levy the statutory limit of 18.00 mills on non-homestead property (principally industrial and commercial real property and residential rental property) and to continue to levy on principal residence property (owner occupied homes) only that portion of the mills necessary to allow the School District to receive the full revenue per pupil foundation allowance permitted by the State. The School District estimates that it will levy not more than 5.1338 mills on personal residences (owner occupied homes) in 2024.


Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property in the Bloomfield Hills Schools, County of Oakland, Michigan, be increased in the amount of 22 mills, with 18 mills being the maximum allowable levy ($18.00 per $1,000 of taxable value), to the extent such property is not statutorily exempt, and of which not more than 9.65 mills may be imposed on principal residences, for twenty (20) years, the years 2026 to 2045, inclusive, to provide funds for operating expenses of the School District? This operating millage, if approved and levied, would provide estimated revenues to the School District of $18,300,000 during the 2026 calendar year, to be used for general operating purposes.

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