BERRIEN SPRINGS — Voters approved the renewal of the Berrien Springs school district’s non-homestead millage levy Tuesday.
With all six precincts reporting, the millage renewal was winning with 399 people voting yes and 204 voting no.
The non-homestead millage renewal proposal asked residents to approve a five-year renewal of the levy, for the years 2024 to 2028. The amount raised by the levy in the first year is estimated to be just over $2.4 million.
The proposed levy was for 19.1642 mills, which gives the district leeway in the event of a Headlee rollback reduction. The most the district can actually levy on non-homestead properties is 18 mills each year.
“This millage rate is proposed to offset any future Headlee rollback that might occur within the next five years,” Superintendent David Eichberg said. “The district cannot collect more than 18 mills by law.”
The non-homestead millage levy is on all commercial property, as well as residential properties that are not a person’s principal residence. In other words, people have to pay the non-homestead millage levy on their second homes or rental properties.
Eichberg said the 18 mills are collected by the state from local municipalities and is one source of funding for the State School Aid Fund. The School Aid Fund is the revenue source for the school district’s per pupil allowance.
Eichberg said the district’s per pupil allowance would be reduced if the non-homestead millage failed. The 2022-23 per pupil allowance for Berrien Springs Public Schools is $9,150. The per pupil allowance funds instructional programming, educational services and school staffing.
“The Berrien Springs community supports education, evident by the existence of multiple educational programs in our community both public and parochial,” he said. “The district is grateful for this ongoing support and is committed to being a good steward of the resources provided to educate the students of Berrien Springs Public Schools.”