2020 Replacement Operation Millage

On March 10, 2020, the Southfield Public Schools District will have an item on the ballot, a Replacement Operating Millage. The March 10 ballot proposal if approved, would allow the school district to restore the levy to 18 mills of non-homestead rate and replace the authorized limit with 20 mills on non-homestead property to protect against future Headlee rollbacks. 

 Important Facts

  • Election Date: March 10, 2020
  • Return the levy to 18 mills of non-homestead millage on all industrial, commercial, rental properties, vacant land, and second-home properties.
  • In order for the District to receive its full per pupil foundation allowance from the state, the District must levy 18 mills on non-homestead properties.
  • An increase of 2 mills on the ballot, while restricting the District to levy no more than 18 mills, to restore and maintain the 18 mills and guard against losing money due to a future Headlee Amendment rollback.
  • Currently, due to the Headlee rollback, Southfield Public School District is levying around 14.9377 mills.
  • The current homestead millage rate expires June 2021.

Ballot Language

SOUTHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
REPLACEMENT OPERATING MILLAGE PROPOSAL

This proposal would restore, replace and extend the authority of the Southfield Public Schools 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 and would restrict the levy on principal residences (owner occupied homes) to no more than 16.9698 mills. If approved, this proposal would restore the authority of the School District to levy the statutory limit of 18.00 mills on non-homestead (principally industrial and commercial real property and residential rental property) which currently expires after the School District’s 2020 tax levy, and allow the district to continue to levy the statutory limit of 18 mills on non-homestead property in the event of future Headlee rollbacks of up to 2.00 mills. Under existing law the School District would levy on principal residence property 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.

Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property in the Southfield Public Schools, County of Oakland, Michigan, be increased to 20.00 mills ($20.00 per $1,000 of taxable value), of which not more than 16.9698 mills may be imposed on principal residences, for ten (10) years, the years 2020 to 2029, inclusive, to provide funds for operating expenses of the school district? This millage would raise approximately $42,309,000 in the first year of levy.

YES

NO

Frequently Asked Questions

What is being requested on the ballot?
This proposal would restore, replace and extend the authority of the Southfield Public Schools to levy mills for general school district operating purposes.

Will this increase the property tax rate on my home?
For Southfield Public School District homeowners, this millage restoration will extend the current authority for homeowners and will not increase tax rates over the current authorization.

What are the revenues used for?
The money the district receives from the Operating Millage supports the day-to-day operations of the school district, including salaries for teachers and staff, and represents approximately 49.35% ($42,309,000) of the overall General Fund budget.

How will this ballot proposal impact Southfield Public School District homeowners?
Under existing law, the school district would levy on principal residence property only that portion of the mills (16.9698 mills in 2019) necessary to allow the school district to receive the full revenue per pupil foundation allowance permitted by the State.

How does the millage allow Southfield Public School District to maintain the 18 mills on non-homestead property?
The March 10, 2020 ballot proposal will restore the authority of Southfield Public Schools to levy 18 mills of Non-Homestead millage on all taxable industrial and commercial businesses, rental properties, and second home properties. In order for the district to receive its full per pupil foundation allowance, the district must levy 18 mills.

Why is a vote necessary?
Under state law, school operating millage authority expires periodically. For Southfield Public Schools to continue to receive the full State Foundation Allowance for each student, this millage must be reauthorized from time to time. This millage was last approved in 2013.

What are the details of the restoration and replacement millage renewal proposal for the Southfield Public Schools for Homeowners?
This authorization will merely enable the district to continue to collect the full per pupil amount allowed under Proposal A. As part of the proposal, voters will have the opportunity to reauthorize the levy of up to 20 mills on homesteads for general operating purposes for the next 10 years. Currently, the district levies 14.9377 mills on homesteads.

What is the maximum levy amount in this operating millage for business owners?
By law, school districts cannot levy more than 18 mills, even with voter approval of a higher rate. The district has experienced cumulative rollback of .1742 mills in the last several years. The State does not make up the revenue lost through rollback. Southfield Public School District is requesting a 2 mill cushion (for a total of 20 mills) on non-homestead properties only to protect the 18 mill levy against future Headlee Amendment rollbacks (losses). 

Who is eligible to vote for the election on Tuesday, March 10, 2020?
Registered voters living in the Southfield Public School District boundaries are eligible to vote. Under Proposal 3 approved by Michigan voters in 2018, residents may now register to vote up to and including election day. Voters may also vote absentee for any reason up to and including election day.

What is a “mill?”
A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of taxable valuation on property. The non-homestead operating millage rate is 18 mills, which means affected property owners would pay $18 for each $1,000 of taxable valuation.

What is non-homestead property? 
Non-homestead property refers to industrial, commercial, rental and vacation property, including apartment buildings, and certain vacant land. It does not include a family’s primary residence.  

Do businesses and commercial entities pay this operating tax in other school districts
Yes. Regardless of which school district a business may be located within Michigan, in order for a school district to receive its full funding from the State of Michigan, the district must levy the 18 mill operating tax.  

Will my home property taxes go down if this is defeated? 
No. There will be no reduction in your primary residence property taxes if the millage does not pass.  

Voting Information

Election Day is Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Register to Vote

Learn more about registering to vote, or see if you're already registered, at the Secretary of State's Register to Vote website.

FEBRUARY 24, 2020

The last day to register to vote by mail.

FEBRUARY 25 - MARCH 10, 2020

In-person registration with the local clerk with proof of residency.

Absentee Ballots

All registered voters can now register as absentee. Learn more about absentee voting on the Secretary of State's Absentee Voting website.

  • Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed via First Class Mail must be received by the City Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on March 6, 2020.
  • Electors already registered to vote may obtain an absent voter ballot in person in the City Clerk's office up until 4 p.m. on March 9, 2020.
  • Emergency absentee voting for the presidential primary election may take place up until 4 p.m. on March 10, 2020.
  • Election day registrants may obtain and vote an absent voter ballot in person in the clerk's office or vote in person in the proper precinct up until 8 p.m. on March 10, 2020.