Crestwood asking for millage renewal in August primary

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — The Crestwood School District administration will be looking for a millage renewal from Heights voters in the primary election Aug. 5.

The renewal is for 18.9038 mills on non-homestead property for 20 years. Businesses, secondary residences, and industrial and commercial properties are affected by the renewal, not primary residences.

The state allows school districts to collect 18 mills from taxpayers, the additional 0.9038 mill is only available to be levied to restore millage lost because of the Headlee Amendment to the state constitution in 1978, which established an overall limit to what the state government could spend each year, including on education.

It is estimated that the district, which has about 3,500 students, would collect $3.3 million annually for operating purposes, or about 10 percent of its total operating budget, from the levy.

If the measure is voted down, the state would not make up the lost money of the district.

Crestwood Supt. Laurine VanValkenburg said the district is asking for the support of the community when they head to the polls.

“It would be a huge loss for us if we lost this money because it goes toward everything, including transportation, staffing and building maintenance,” VanValkenburg said. “It would have a very negative impact on our district.”

She added that the proposal is a renewal, not an increase in taxes.

“For businesses, it would be the same taxes they have been paying since the passing of Proposal A established the millage amount in 1994,” VanValkenburg said. “For primary residences it’s a non-tax because they are not affected.”

Precincts 5 through 18 will be voting on the proposal in the primary election.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)