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Headlee Restoration Millage - March 10, 2020

The Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD) service area will be seeking a Headlee Restoration Millage vote on March 10, 2020. If approved, this restoration would generate $2,300,000 of special education funds annually to support special education students, purchase equipment and upgrade facilities for students attending public schools in the Ingham ISD service area.

In 1978, Michigan voters approved an amendment to the Michigan Constitution known as the Headlee Amendment. This amendment included a number of provisions related to state and local taxes, including those which support schools.

PDF DocumentHeadlee Restoration Presentation

The state-created Headlee Amendment caps property tax increases at the rate of inflation. When the taxable values of properties rise faster than the rate of inflation, the actual tax levy is rolled back. As a result of a Headlee Rollback, schools collect less revenue than originally approved by voters.

The Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution caps property tax increases at 5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Since the growth rate of property values sometimes exceeds the rate of inflation, the actual millage rate is rolled back and decreases when this occurs. The amount of the roll back is called the Millage Reduction Fraction (MRF). In the Ingham ISD service area, our special education millage has eroded .2438 mill since 1988. As a result, Ingham ISD has been collecting less millage than originally approved by taxpayers for special education students. If approved, this would restore the .2438 mill for special education that was previously approved by voters to the original amount of 4.75 for a period of 20 years.

A taxpayer who owns a home with a market value of $125,000 (taxable value of $62,500) will pay $15.24 per year or $1.27 per month in restored millage. The funds generated from this restoration will support students in special education.


This proposal requests additional millage to permit the continued levy by the intermediate school district of the maximum mills for special education previously approved by the electors.

Shall the current charter limitation on the annual property tax rate for the education of students with a disability in Ingham Intermediate School District, Michigan, be increased by 0.2438 mill ($0.2438 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 20 years, 2020 to 2039, inclusive (this increase will allow the intermediate school district to levy the maximum rate of 4.75 mills previously approved by the electors that has been reduced as required by the Michigan Constitution of 1963); the estimate of the revenue the intermediate school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2020 is approximately $2,300,000 from local property taxes authorized herein?

Q: How will districts use the funds collected from this tax restoration?
A: If approved, this restoration would generate $2,300,000 of special education funds annually to support students, purchase equipment and upgrade facilities for special education students attending public schools in the Ingham ISD service area.

Q: Is this a new tax? Why are taxpayers being asked to vote on this restoration?
A: It is not a new tax. Tax rates on property values were rolled back as property values have increased. If approved, this would restore the millage to the original rate approved by voters.

Q: How much would this cost residents?
A: If approved, a taxpayer who owns a home with a market value of $125,000 (taxable value of $62,500) would pay $15.24 per year or $1.27 per month for the restoration of this tax levy. The funds generated from this restoration would support students in special education.

Q: The ballot language says this increase will allow the intermediate school district to levy the maximum rate of 4.75 mills originally approved by voters. However, my property tax documents show 5.9987 mill. Can you break out the authorized amounts and the amounts being collected?
A: Ingham ISD current keeps approximately $450,000 of fund balance for special education, this is about 1/2 of 1%. The rest is returned to local districts and then charged back accordingly based on use. Local school districts in the Ingham ISD service area currently spend approximately $10 million dollars to support educational programming for students that have an individualized education plan that is unfunded through current special education revenues.  Here is a chart that explains the millage amounts for Ingham ISD:

Millage Authorized Levied 3/10/2020 Ballot
General Education 0.2000 mills 0.2000 mills 0.0
Special Education 4.7500 4.5062 0.2438
Career & Technical Ed 1.4000 1.2925 0.0
Total   5.9987  

Q: What is the median home value in Ingham County?
A: The median home value, according to Ingham County tax assessments, is $123,700. 

Q: Will my home property taxes go down if this is defeated? 
A: No, taxes will not be reduced.

Q: When do I vote?
A: March 10, 2020

Q: When will the absentee ballot be available?
A: By January 25, 2020

Q: Where do I go to vote?
A: Voting takes place in the same locations as national and state elections.

Q: When are the polls open?
A: From 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Q: What is the last day I can register to vote?
A: Voters may register in person until March 10, 2020. Submissions by mail must be postmarked by February 24, 2020.

Q: Who can vote in this election?
A: Every registered voter who lives in the school districts of Dansville, East Lansing, Haslett, Holt, Lansing, Leslie, Mason, Okemos, Stockbridge, Waverly, Webberville and Williamston attendance area, whether a property owner or not, is eligible to vote.

Q: Where do I get an absentee ballot?
A: You should go to your local township office to fill out the paperwork for an absentee ballot. The same office from which you vote.

Q: If passed, how much of the 2.3 million dollars will go to Ingham ISD and how much will go to local districts?
A: Students who attend special education programs at Ingham ISD are residents of their local school district. If approved, all of the money generated by the restoration will go to serve students from the local districts within the Ingham ISD service area.  50% of the funds will go directly to local districts to serve students with individualized education plans and 50% will be used to support capital projects on facilities used to serve local district students who receive special education programming at Ingham ISD.

Q: Do gifted and talented programs fall under special education in the State of Michigan?
A: At the federal level, gifted and talented programs could fall under the special education funding model. However, each state determines whether or not gifted and talented education is included in special education funding. The State of Michigan has determined that gifted and talented is not part of special education funding it falls under general education funding.

Vote on March 10, 2020

Did you know…during the 2018-19 school year more than 5,800 students with special needs were served in the Ingham ISD service area?