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Dexter Community Schools Seeking Non-Homestead Millage Renewal in May

The district's 18-mill operating millage is set to expire in December.

Local residents will head to the ballot box in May to vote on a renewal of the Dexter Community School District's non-homestead operating millage.

The Dexter Board of Education approved a resolution at its meeting on Feb. 19 to put the millage renewal on the May 7 ballot.

According to information provided by the board, the district is asking voters to renew its 18-mill operating millage and 3-mill Headlee override millage, which translates into $4.1 million in funding for the district.

The millage was originally passed in 1994, and the Headlee millage was passed in 1999. Both expire this year with the December tax levy. The Headlee millage exists to restore any millage lost as a result of the Headlee rollback required by the 1963 Michigan Constitution and is only levied to the extent necessary to reach 18 mills.

As a result of Proposal A, the Michigan Legislature expects school districts to levy the 18 mills on non-homestead property as a component of what schools receive in per pupil funding. This is a tax that is paid by owners of commercial and industrial property and those who own second homes. Non-homestead property taxes are not levied upon a homeowner’s primary residence. Therefore, residents of the Dexter Community Schools District who own one home in the district, do not pay this tax.

Sharon Raschke, chief financial officer for the district told the board that if the millage renewal does not pass it would be "disastrous for the district."

A similar millage renewal will go before voters living in the Chelsea School District as well.

"The businesses in our community are very supportive of our schools and understand that a vital, successful school district contributes to a robust economic environment," Teresa Zigman, executive director of business and operations at Chelsea Schools said.

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