In 1982, Benzie County set its general operating millage at 5.29 mills and in an indefinite status. In the State of Michigan, there are two laws, Headlee and Proposal A, which limit how much your local government can tax residents. This does not include what you are taxed at the State, County, or Federal level. This is critical to understand because while you as a property owner may see your taxes going up, we do not see any of that revenue. We are capped to whatever the general fund millage rate is which goes down every single year. That means for 2023, Benzie County was only able to levy 3.3378 mills, decreasing our potential revenue.
Many residents have asked why there are such a great deal of special tax millages on our ballots. The answer to this it that since 1982 our general operating millage has rolled back and in order to provide the services needed to the community, we have sought special tax millages to fund those services.
If Benzie County were to approve a Headlee Reset, the original tax millage rate will be restored and there is opportunity for Benzie County to lessen the number of special tax millages on the ballot. It would also give Benzie County an opportunity to enhance and expand the services currently provided to the community and the local townships.
It's important to note that a Headlee Reset would not just effect Benzie County. It will impacts all townships within Benzie County who have also rolled back since 1982. Below are handouts to learn more about this topic.
Headlee and Benzie County
Guide to Property Taxes, Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment