GRPS: Millage would protect against state funding loss

Elections

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A complicated and often misunderstood millage proposal is on Grand Rapids voters’ Aug. 3 ballot.

Acknowledging it can be confusing, Grand Rapids Public Schools officials want to point out a few things about the millage: This is not a new tax and it will cost homeowners nothing.

It is a non-homestead millage proposal of up to 23 mills for a period of seven years. The concern is something called a Headlee Rollback. It’s something Grand Rapids hasn’t usually had to deal with, but with low inflation and climbing property value, officials are concerned higher home value assessments will trigger a Headlee Rollback that would bring the authorized millage rate below the 18 mill cap. That would result in lower state aid payments.

“A yes vote would simply maintain the existing levy at 18 mills. It would protect against a Headlee Rollback. And that’s why we continue to say not a new tax, not a tax on homeowners and not a tax increase because it legally can’t be,” GRPS spokesperson John Helmholdt said. “It will simply maintain the full levy at the 18 mills voters have consistently approved for the better part of 30 years.”

GRPS leaders are concerned if the millage were to fail and that rollback does happen, the district would lose up to $250,000.

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