WB-RC board approves Headlee override ballot proposal for November
WEST BRANCH — Voters in the West Branch-Rose City Area School District will vote on a ballot proposal Nov. 6 that, if approved, would override Headlee Amendment rollbacks, restoring the district’s non-homestead millage to 18 mills.
The WB-RC Board of Education approved placing the override millage on the ballot 6-0 during a special meeting Monday, Aug. 27. Board member Ron Hughes was absent.
WB-RC currently collects 17.9208 mills per $1,000 of taxable value on non-permanent residences, second and vacation homes and businesses in the school district. According to district business manager Chavon Nihls, the 17.9208-mills millage currently levied generates about $5.5 million per year for the district.
Superintendent Dan Cwayna said if the override is approved Nov. 6, it would raise about $27,000 more dollars in its first year.
“This would restore the erosion in our property taxes that has occurred over the years,” he said.
School Board President Dick Bachelder said the money collected from the non-homestead millage goes directly into the district’s general fund.
Nihls said a taxpayer whose property has a taxable value of $50,000 would see their taxes go up about $3.96 if the ballot proposal passes.
Cwayna said with the override approved for the ballot, the district needed to inform voters of the issue.
“I think it’s important we put a plan together to get the word out,” he said.
Money said the millage would likely go the way of other ballot initiatives up for a vote in November.
“I think this is going to ride the coattails of all the other millages,” he said. “If they get voted down, this will go down. If they pass, this will pass.”
A Headlee override to restore the non-homestead millage was scheduled to go before voters in 2014 without the board’s action at the special meeting.
The deadline to place a ballot initiative on the November ballot is Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 4 p.m.
The Headlee Amendment was voted into the Michigan State Constitution in 1978. It says that if property values increase, the taxes levied on that property have to roll back so that the property yields the same amount of revenue.
In other news, Cwayna announced at the special meeting that the district and United Steelworkers, which represents the district's support staff, had reached a tentative agreement in regards to health insurance. Look for more details on this issue in the Aug. 30 edition of the Herald.