FAQ’s About the May 2, 2017 Millage

How much will the new millage cost me?

The average cost per household to operate the library would be just over $100. This amount would be the equivalent of purchasing 3 hardcover books and 2 movies.

House Price Taxable Value  Cost per year  Increase from 2017
$200,000 $100,000 $89.00 $36
$300,000 $150,000 $133.50 $54
$400,000 $200,000 $178.00 $72
$500,000 $250,000 $222.50 $90

Why doesn’t the growth in Lyon Township cover the increased services proposed?

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 and created several new laws related to local government taxation, including:

  • Requiring voter approval for any local tax increases or new taxes established after Headlee was approved
  • Limiting property tax revenue resulting from property tax assessment increasing
  • Limiting revenue collected to the amount the millage originally was to generate (with factor for inflation)

The millage revenue limitation means that, for example, if a tax base for a local unit increased from $1 million to $1.1 million and the tax rate was one mill, the millage would have to be reduced from 1.0 mills to 0.909 mills, so that total revenue would be the same, $1,000, as originally generated. This was known as a Headlee rollback.

Click these links for more information about the Headlee rollback:

Why can’t we join SSLDL?

In August of 2016 a committee was formed with representatives from Lyon Township Public Library (LTPL) and Salem South Lyon District Library (SSLDL) to explore the possibility of joining the two libraries.  Both parties determined that it would not be in the best interest of the residents of either community to join the libraries for the following reasons:

  • Lyon Township residents would be required to travel to the edge of the township to use the resources at SSLDL, as the current LTPL facility would likely cease to operate.
  • Lyon Township residents would be governed by the SSLDL board with no representation from Lyon Township.
  • SSLDL would require Lyon Township residents to pay the same 1.6 operating millage that SSLDL residents currently pay in taxes to support their library.  This is more than the 1.585 operating millage that Lyon Township voters rejected in August to operate a new library that would be centrally located in the township.
  • SSLDL would likely need to build on to their current facility to accommodate all of the LTPL card holders.  This would likely result in a new building bond, which would be taxed to both Lyon Township and South Lyon residents.

How many people visit/use the library?

75% of the households in Lyon Township have a library card used to check out materials for one or more family members.  Complete statistics for 2016 Lyon Township Library usage can be found here. The Library of Michigan also compiles usage numbers and reports them on every library in the state of Michigan.  A breakdown of the per capita usage of our library in recent years can be found here.  You may also search for the comparable expenditures, revenues and usage for other libraries.

Why isn’t LTPL asking for a new building now?

The LTPL Board has determined that right now it is most critical to secure the funding required to continue operation when our current operating millage expires later this year.  Once that funding has been secured, they will begin forming a strategy for a building that will better meet the needs of our community.

What happens if this millage doesn’t pass?

The current funding for LTPL expires at the end of this year. The library needs an operating millage to continue to function. In the event that this millage does not pass on May 2, the library will have to ask the Lyon Township community again for a library operating millage on the November 2017 ballot, as we will have no operating budget to function in 2018 and beyond. This will leave township residents with no library services, and no ability to seek library services at other libraries as their cards will no longer work.