Election FAQs

  • Why is the Library on the ballot on August 3?
    • One of the Library’s two operating millages expired in December of 2020. The proposal on the August ballot is to renew that millage with a slight increase. Last year this millage rate was .1883 mills. This year the Library is requesting .25 mills, an increase of .0617 mills.
    • These funds will cover operating expenses such as staff salaries, the purchase of new books and DVDs, programming costs and building maintenance.
  • How is this election different than the one that was held in August of 2018?
    • In 2018, voters approved a bond proposal to build and furnish a new building. That money cannot be used for operating expenses, which is why this renewal is a separate ballot proposal. 
  • How will the new millage rate affect my taxes?
    • If the requested proposal passes, the new total operating millage rate will be .4553 mills. The amount paid in taxes to support the Library depends on the value of your property. For example:
      • If your home is valued at $200,000, you will see an increase of $5.70 per year. ($45.53 in 2021, up from $39.83 in 2020)
      • If your home is valued at $300,000, you will see an increase of $8.56 per year. ($68.30 in 2021, up from $59.74 in 2020)
      • If your home is valued at $400,000, you will see an increase of $11.40 per year. ($91.06 in 2021, up from $79.66 in 2020)
    • What happens if this renewal is not approved by voters?
      • The Library’s total operating income will be reduced by approximately $130,000. This represents about 34% of the total operating income.
    • How does this new rate compare to previous years?
      • The .4553 rate is roughly the average rate of the previous 10 years.
      • In 2016 the total operating millage rate was .5173. This dropped significantly when the Library board chose not to renew a millage of .1 mills. This year’s requested increase of .0617 mills partially recovers that expired millage as well as adjusting for Headlee rollbacks.
  • How long will the new rate be in effect?
    • This requested millage is for a period of 5 years, instead of the typical duration of 10 years.
    • Because the current millage expired during a turbulent time when normal operations were disrupted by COVID and our move to a new building, it is difficult to project future budgets. The shorter time span will allow the board to re-evaluate the rate after just a few years and make any corrections once we have occupied the building during normal circumstances.
  • What is the exact language I will see on my ballot?
    • Shall the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library, County of Allegan, State of Michigan, be authorized to levy annually an amount not to exceed .25 mill ($.25 on each $1,000 of taxable value), of which .1883 mill is a renewal of the previously authorized millage rate that expired in 2020 and .0617 mill is new additional millage to restore the millage rate lost as a result of the Headlee Amendment millage reductions, against all taxable property within the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library district for a period of five (5) years, 2021 to 2025 inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for all district library purposes authorized by law? The estimate of the revenue the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library will collect in the first year of levy (2021) if the millage is approved and levied by the Library is approximately $175,000.