Non-homestead operating millage not a new tax, not a tax on homeowners

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Thank you for your continued support of Grand Rapids Public Schools, our families, students, teachers, and staff. GRPS has become a state and national example for urban education. Our enrollment, attendance, test scores, and graduation rates are all up and increasing. GRPS is poised to start growing, as evidenced by the best count day in 2 decades and a 50% increase in graduation rates over 5 years.


At the end of this year our non-homestead operating millage will expire, which provides the district with $30.1 million for teaching and learning. The Grand Rapids Board of Education has placed a ballot question for the November 7, 2017 election to renew this non-homestead operating millage. 

A non-homestead operating millage does not affect primary residences or homeowners. By establishing a non-homestead rate, the non-homestead operating millage only applies to non-residential properties, such as businesses and second homes. 


The ballot proposal, asking for a renewal of 19 mills over 10 years, will allow GRPS to levy a maximum of 18 mills. Under Proposal A, the year-to-year increases in property values on which the non-homestead operating millage is assessed, is limited to the lesser of the inflation rate or 5%. If property values increase at a rate greater than inflation, then the non-homestead operating millage rate has to be “rolled-back” in order to limit the amount of taxes that could be collected. This “roll-back” is commonly referred to as the Headlee Rollback. This is no different from the last time the non-homestead operating millage was approved in November 2009. Approval of the November 7, 2017 proposal would be a continuation of the already assessed non-homestead operating millage.


To be clear, this non-homestead operating millage is:

    • NOT a new millage 
    • NOT a millage increase 
    • NOT a tax on homeowners 
    • NOT paid by owner-occupied or primary residence taxpayers

Please visit to read the official ballot language, register to vote, request your absentee ballot, or get more information.

Mark your calendar and remember to vote on November 7, 2017.