Proposed Millage Slated for 2021 November Vote
Revenue for the Auburn Hills Public Library has declined due to the Headlee Amendment of 1978, which decreased the original 1 mil voters approved for library services in 1984 down to the current mil of 0.7024. Through budget cuts, the library has maintained and provided the current level of services offered today. On November 2, 2021, residents of the City of Auburn Hills will be asked to decide on the library’s future funding.
What is on the ballot?
The Auburn Hills Public Library Board has voted to place a ten-year 0.2976 new millage proposal on the November 2, 2021 ballot in Auburn Hills.
Who is served by the AHPL?
The AHPL serves residents of Auburn Hills whose population has continued to increase over the years and is expected to top over 26,000 based on the 2020 census.
Why has the AHPL scheduled this millage election?
The AHPL is operating on a one-mill tax levy that was approved in 1984. In 1978, Michigan voters approved the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution. This amendment puts limits on Michigan tax levies and subjects them to “Headlee Rollbacks.” These rollbacks have restricted the AHPL to a current levy that is less than the one mill authorized by voters almost 37 years ago. (The 1 mill has been rolled back to 0.7024 mills).
Has the AHPL ever acted to reduce expenses?
Yes, staffing has decreased; however, this affects the quality of service to a growing population. Also cut was online services limiting our ability to fulfill many residents’ online needs. AHPL revenue declined by 9% starting in 2010 at the time the Great Recession hit. Although the economy recovered over the last 10 years, AHPL revenue has remained the same with minimal increases.
Will library fines be eliminated if the millage proposal is approved?
AHPL Board of Trustees will look at this option since fines are less than ½ % of our budget. However, replacement fees for materials that are lost or damaged will remain in place.
What will the millage proposal cost?
If voters approve the AHPL millage proposal, the current tax rate is projected to increase by 0.2976 mills. The average homeowner with a property having a market value of $184,000 will pay on average an additional $27.60 per year or $2.30 per month.
What will this additional funding be used for?
- Increase current levels of programs and services, including presenters and author visits.
- Provide more physical and digital materials to meet resident demands.
- Increased technology to check out, including hotspots, laptops, and iPads.
- Install kiosks book vending systems downtown and on the west side of Auburn Hills.
- Pop-up libraries around the community.
- Install book lockers for easier after-hours access to pick up materials.
- Add collections to strengthen curriculum support to the Avondale school district.
- Continue to improve and update the building with new furnishings and equipment.
- Renovate the children’s department with the addition of an outdoor patio.
- Offer Sunday hours during the school year.
What will happen if voters do not approve the millage proposal?
The AHPL will continue to operate at current levels but would not have the ability to increase hours, expand programming, offer extended outreach service, and further building improvements would be limited.
What is the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority?
The Auburn Hills Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) uses Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to clean up polluted properties (aka “Brownfields”) within the city. The BRA, with approval from the City Council, captures TIF revenue to reimburse land developers for cleanup costs that they would not have otherwise incurred if they had developed a “Greenfield” site. This is done when cleanup costs cannot be recovered from the person or entity that caused the pollution. Michigan Public Act 381 controls this process. In 2020 the Brownfield captured $5,271 from the library millage.
If you have questions about the millage proposal, please contact Library Director, Lawrence Marble (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 248-370-9466.
Auburn Hills Public Library Ballot Language
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property within the City of Auburn Hills, Oakland County, Michigan, be increased and the City be authorized to levy annually a new additional millage in an amount not to exceed .2976 mill ($.2976 on each $1,000 of taxable value) for ten (10) years, 2021-2030, inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for operating, maintaining, and equipping the Auburn Hills Public Library and for all other library purposes authorized by law? If approved, the millage would raise an estimated $515,000 in the first year it is levied (2021). By law, revenue from this millage will be allocated to the Auburn Hills Public Library. In addition, by law, a portion of the revenue collected may be disbursed to the City of Auburn Hills Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.