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March 19, 2019 12:45 pm

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SPS Superintendent Discusses Millage Requests


   (This is article #1 of a four-part series on the upcoming May 7 school election that will have four, five-year millage proposals on the ballot. Please visit our website,, for articles, videos, ballot language and more information concerning this school election.)

   In May of 2009, Saugatuck Public Schools (SPS) voters turned down the district’s operational millage by just 38 votes. We were the only school in the State of Michigan to not pass our operational millage.
   Many voters were unaware that a failed millage would shut down our schools (and many forgot to vote). The operating millage was then passed by an overwhelming majority of voters in August of 2009, and again in 2010 for a three-year renewal.
   Many questions were generated from that 2009 election in regards to school funding and how vital the local revenue is to our continued operations.
   Residents were surprised to learn that all public schools are required by the state to levy the 18 mills, without which a school district cannot operate.
   For Saugatuck Public Schools, our local levy makes up 75% of our total general fund budget.
   On May 7, 2013, residents of the SPS district will be asked to renew the operational millage for five years. This is a renewal – not a tax increase – of 18 mills on non-homestead properties (business, second homes) and 1.3174 mills on homestead properties (primary residences), for a five-year period.
   It’s worth repeating that the local revenue generated through the operational mills is required by the state and is the primary source of funding for SPS.
   This millage renewal provides for our day-to-day programming of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, including salaries, classroom supplies, textbooks, building utilities, and more.
   As state funding decreases we continue to work with our staff to reduce expenses in order to keep funding cuts from affecting our students.
   If you have any questions, please contact me at or (269) 857-1444.

Rolfe Timmerman, Superintendent
Saugatuck Public Schools

SPS Superintendent Discusses Millage Requests

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