School tax on Tuesday's ballot

Voters in three Tri-Cities-area school districts will get their chance Tuesday to approve taxes that they probably don't have to pay. Voters in the Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Fruitport school districts will each see just one item on the May 8 ballot: the renewal of the nonprincipal property tax levy. Such levies impact those with second homes in the area.
Mark Brooky
May 7, 2012

 

"Our renewal is for 18 mills on nonprincipal residence and other nonexempt property, and 6 mills on commercial personal property," explained Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent Keith Konarska. "This proposal represents an annual renewal (not an increase) of millage, which does not affect the taxes on a homeowner's principal residence."

Konarska said approval of the issue means a continuation of $18.6 million in annual income needed to maintain the school district's programs and services. The proposal is for one year.

Approval of Spring Lake’s issue would result in $2.6 million in income for Spring Lake Public Schools in 2012, and the proposal is for three years.

Voters in the Fruitport district, however, will be asked to increase the rate to 18.5 mills for five years, "which will be levied only to the extent necessary to restore millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the Michigan Constitution of 1963," according to the ballot proposal. If approved, the total of 18.5 mills would bring in about $3 million this year.

At the Fruitport school board's April 23 meeting, Superintendent Bob Szymoniak explained the verbiage on the ballot. He said the increase of a half-mill would actually be a “hedge” which protects the district over time to keep the millage rate consistent at the current rate of 18 mills. He assured the board that, if approved, the millage rate collected would not exceed 18 mills.

Elsewhere in Ottawa County on Tuesday, voters in the Allendale, Coopersville, Holland, Hudsonville and West Ottawa school districts will also be asked to approve the nonprincipal tax levy. Voters in the city of Hudsonville will be asked to approve an additional six-tenths of a mill to their property taxes for three years to provide public transportation in the city.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Tribune will post the election results online after polls close Tuesday night.

 

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