Non-homestead tax proposal on Tuesday’s ballot

Published 11:51 pm Monday, May 2, 2005

By Staff
NILES - In 1994, Michigan voters passed Proposal A, part of which required all districts to pass a non-homestead property tax of 18 mills. Current legislation in Michigan schedules the tax vote every two years and this proposal will be on Tuesday's school election ballot.
According to Doug Law, superintendent of Niles Community Schools, "This tax does not affect homeowners in any way unless they own a second home in this district." The tax refers to businesses, second homes, and non-exempt agricultural land.
According to Law, if the voters do not pass the non-homestead tax, the school district would not be able to operate next year.
Other sources for taxes, in addition to the non-homestead tax, are sales taxes (which in Michigan are six cents on the dollar), a tax for owning a home which is 6 mill annually, a real estate transfer tax, a small percentage of the lottery, and additional funding from the legislature which fluctuates each year and is specific in its use.
A mill is a percentage of half of the assessed value of a home. One mill equals one dollar of each assessed $1,000 of the valuation of the home.
According to Law, the sales tax isn't all that dependable from an economic viewpoint. "The schools are funded mostly through this tax. We are too dependent on it. In the 90s we had all kinds of money in that fund, but the last four years have been an economic downturn because people don't buy as much," Law said.