News from Lake Orion Community Schools
Today’s date: August 24, 2023
For release: Immediate
For more information: Superintendent of Schools Ben Kirby at 248-693-5400 or by email at [email protected]
Lake Orion Community Schools places two proposals on the February/March presidential primary ballot
The Lake Orion Community Schools’ Board of Education has approved placing a non-homestead proposal and a sinking fund proposal on the February/March presidential primary ballot.
The first proposal, a 10-year non-homestead proposal, supports the school district’s operating budget. This budget covers everything necessary to provide educational programs and services in Lake Orion Community Schools.
Every school district in Michigan is required to levy 18-mills on non-homestead property to receive their full share of state aid. The non-homestead millage is levied on businesses, second homes, vacant land, and rental property. It does not affect taxes on the home in which a homeowner lives (a primary residence).
Non-homestead levies are subject to rollbacks under provisions of the Michigan Constitution.
“When these rollbacks occur, school districts lose revenue and experience reductions in their State Aid,” LOCS Superintendent Ben Kirby said. “Even though a non-homestead levy cannot exceed 18-mills, we are asking for approval of 21 mills to protect the school district from future rollbacks in the 18-mill levy if and when they occur.”
The second item on the February/March presidential primary ballot is a 10-year sinking fund proposal. It is intended to replace the existing 1.8862 mill sinking fund originally approved by voters in 2016. If approved by voters in presidential primary, the levy will continue at 1.8862 mills, and generate approximately $5 million annually.
The sinking fund is a pay-as-you-go method of funding upgrades and repairs to schools and school facilities. In addition to funding upgrades and repairs, changes in Michigan law now allow sinking fund revenue to be used for construction or repair of school buildings, school security improvements, the purchase of school buses and transportation vehicles, and for the acquisition or upgrading of technology.
Revenue from LOCS’ sinking fund will be used to enhance the 2018 bond projects and complete projects that were not included in the bond.
“When the school district started our bond proposal project in 2018, $300 million in needs were identified, our community approved a bond for $160 million to update, upgrade, and enhance our district. The sinking fund will provide revenue to complete projects that were not included in the 2018 bond,” said Kirby.
Board of Education President Birgit McQuiston said the intent of the two ballot proposals is to maintain and protect the school district’s operating budget and to maintain and upgrade school facilities, technology, and the student transportation fleet.
“Taken together, we believe that the two proposals will assure that Lake Orion Community Schools can remain financially sound and that the community’s investment in the school district is protected,” she said.
The non-homestead millage will have no effect on the taxes for homes in which a homeowner lives, and that the sinking fund will restore a proposal that was approved by voters in 2016.
The school district is preparing informational materials to help assure that the community is well-informed and that their questions are answered. Information will be included on the school district website, through the news media, social media, school district communications, printed materials, and mailed directly to the community.
Details about the proposal are available now on the school district’s website and will be updated continually through Election Day. For more information, all residents are invited to visit LakeOrionSchools.org/School-Election-Information or contact Superintendent Ben Kirby at 248-693-5400 or by email at [email protected].
The school district invites all community members to share their thoughts about the upcoming ballot proposals. Visit www.research.net/r/LakeOrionmillageproposals to take a brief survey.