By Tom Tolen /

Besides electing school board candidates, Brighton Area School District voters will also have another issue to decide in the Nov. 3rd election — a non-Homestead millage override. If passed, the issue would restore the full 18 mills of property taxes on non-Homestead properties in the district.

The 2.2-mill proposal would be for 13 years, from 2020-2032. The millage would not be levied on a property owner’s primary residence, affecting only industrial, commercial, and investment property, along with vacation homes and rental properties. Defeat of the request would require the district to roll back the non-Homestead millage to less than 18 mills. However, passage of the 2.2-mill proposal would give the district a hedge against potential Headlee rollbacks in the future. If passed, district officials have promised that they will only levy the amount necessary to bring the non-homestead tax up to the full 18 mills.

The Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment to the Michigan Constitution, passed by the voters in 1978, limits the amount of property tax increase that can be levied to whichever is lower between the inflation rate and 5 per cent. The inflation rate for 2020 is projected to be between 2.1% and 2.3%. Since the end of the “great recession” that began in 2008, property values in the Brighton Area Schools District have risen much faster than the inflation rate, which would necessitate a rollback on non-Homestead properties without a voter-approved override.