Voters asked to renew millage

Coloma Junior/Senior High Schools are pictured Sept. 20, 2018.

COLOMA — Those who call the Coloma Community Schools district their home will not see an increase to their taxes with the millage proposal on the ballot Nov. 6. 

The district is asking residents to vote on a Headlee Amendment override, which will allow the district to levy the full 18 mills on nonhomestead property. 

“Over the last few years, the 18 mills have been rolled back to 17.79 mills and we are asking the voters to return the nonhomestead tax levy to the full 18 mills, which means we would recoup $40,980 per year for our budget,” Superintendent Dave Ehlers said. “One important thing to point out is that this is not a new tax, and costs Coloma homeowners $0 at their primary residence.”

The 18 mills, for four years, are levied against any property that is not a primary residence, like commercial property and second homes.

He said the millage is very important because it generates almost $3.36 million for district operations each year. The figure equals about one-third of the budget.

“This is money the state expects us to collect locally as part of our foundation allowance. Most people think districts receive all of their funding through the student foundation allowance via the School Aid Fund, when in fact, districts must collect 18 mills on nonhomestead properties to reach the full foundation allowance,” Ehlers said. 

For Coloma, the break down of the $7,871 per pupil foundation allowance is $5,334 from the State School Aid Fund and $2,537 from the assessment of the nonhomestead property.

“If our community were to fail to pass the nonhomestead tax levy, the state would only give us the $5,334 per student and we would be forced to cut an already very tight budget by $3,359,489, which would mean drastic cuts to programming and services,” Ehlers said. “This would certainly not be in line with our district goals and objectives nor would it serve our students or community.”

Ehlers said the district is sending out information weekly to parents until election day and is putting together information to go out to voters in the mail. There is also information on the district’s website, www.ccs.coloma.org.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman