Cass District Library consists of five branch locations including the Main, Local History, Edwardsburg, Howard, and Mason Union branches and currently serves 38,000 county residents in Calvin, Howard, Jefferson, LaGrange, Mason, Milton, Newberg, Ontwa, Penn, Pokagon, Porter, and Volinia townships.
In 1993, residents in the district approved an operating millage in perpetuity of 0.75 mills. This rate has been reduced to 0.6386 due to Headlee Rollbacks. This reduction now equates to approximately $213,000 annually in lost revenues and further reductions will continue in the coming years.
In August 2022, Cass District Library will be seeking a Headlee override to restore the original millage rate. If approved, the millage would continue to fund the library in perpetuity. New revenues would be collected via the winter tax rolls and would generate approximately $213,000 in additional revenues the first year. The library has not sought any increases in revenues since 1993.
This replenished funding is critical as the current cost of deferred capital maintenance for the district is $806,446, according to a completed Facilities Master Plan. The library’s replenished funding will also help to bolster additional operating expenses including the purchase of new items for the collections, programming costs, and critical investments in updated technology, ensuring that all patrons have free access to an ever- growing roster of high-quality resources, in updated, inspiring, and welcoming facilities.
The average property owner CDL’s service district will pay an additional $8.67 per year in taxes, just $0.72 a month.
If the requested proposal passes, the new total operating millage will be 0.75 mills. The amount paid in taxes to support the library depends on the value of your property. To calculate the increase, take ½ the market value of your property and divide it by 1,000, then multiple that figure by 0.75 mills.
According to the most recent census data from July 2021, the median value of Cass County owner-occupied housing units is $155,600.
Market Value of Home
Current Millage Annual Cost
Renewed Millage Annual Cost
In 1978, voters in the state of Michigan approved Headlee Amendments to the state’s constitution. Headlee requires a local unit of government to reduce its millage when annual growth on existing property is greater than the rate of inflation. As a consequence, the local unit’s millage rate gets “rolled back” so that the resulting growth in property tax revenue, community-wide, is no more than the rate of inflation. A “Headlee override” is a vote by the electors to return the millage to the amount originally authorized via charter, state statute, or a vote of the people, and is necessary to counteract the effects of the “Headlee Rollback.”
Source: Michigan Municipal League
Shall the Cass District Library, County of Cass, Michigan, be authorized to levy annually a new additional millage in an amount not to exceed .1114 mill ($.1114 on each $1,000 of taxable value) annually against all taxable property within the Cass District Library district in perpetuity beginning in the year 2022, for the purpose of providing funds for all district library purposes authorized by law? The estimate of the revenue the Cass District Library will collect if the millage is approved and levied by the Cass District Library in the first year (2022) is approximately $213,000.
Although the ballot language states this is a “new additional millage”, which is a requirement by law, this request is to restore the library’s existing millage to its original amount.