Charlevoix Public Library  Where your imagination takes flight

Library Millage Information

Millage Information for August 2024 Ballot

CPL Millage Fact Sheet 2024

2024 Millage Request Information

  1. What is a millage:

A millage is a rate at which a tax is levied on property based upon your property value. The millage rate represents an amount levied per every $1,000 of taxable value. As a basic example, a 1.00 millage on property with a taxable value of $100,000 would equate to $100 in taxes each year.

  1. What millage is the library asking for and why:

The library is requesting a ten-year 0.800 millage that includes the renewal of 0.6143 mills that was first approved in 2004 and a new, additional operating millage of 0.1857 mills.

The library is requesting 0.800 mills  because our 20-year, 0.650 operating millage first approved by the community in 2004 is expiring. This millage has been rolled back to 0.6143 and accounts for 45% of the library’s operational funding.

The library is also requesting a new, additional millage of 0.1857 due to rising facility maintenance costs as well as rising operating costs including personnel.

  1. How much will this cost me and is it more than I pay now?

Due to your fantastic support over the last twenty years, in spring of 2024, the library will pay off the bond that provided the funding to purchase and renovate the old middle school into your library. That bond was funded by a 0.7500 mills tax that will no longer be levied. Due to this repayment and the retirement of the 0.7500 mills tax, approving the requested 0.800 mills will still result in approximately 0.560 less mills being levied or a savings of $56.00 each year for every $100,000 of taxable property value.  

Approximate costs of the proposed library millage for property owners are:

If your house is worth… You will only pay:
$200,000 $123 annually
$300,000 $185 annually
$400,000 $246 annually
$500,000 $308 annually
  1. What will approval mean?

Approving the millage will provide the library with adequate funding to continue offering the services you have come to expect while also maintaining our outstanding facility.

  1. What happens if the millage doesn’t pass?

If the millage does not pass, the library will be forced to significantly cut services including open hours, materials purchases, and programming.

  1. What is the specific Ballot Proposal?

The specific language that will appear on the August, 2024 ballot is “Shall the Charlevoix Public Library, County of Charlevoix, Michigan, be authorized to levy annually an amount not to exceed .80 mill ($0.80 for each $1,000 of taxable value), of which .6143 mill is a renewal of the millage rate that expires in 2024 and .1857 mill is new additional millage, against all taxable property within the Charlevoix Public Library district for a period of ten (10) years, 2025 to 2034, inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for all district library purposes authorized by law? The estimate of the revenue the Charlevoix Public Library will collect in the first year of levy (2025) if the millage is approved and levied by the Library is approximately $845,000. By law, a portion of the revenue from the millage may be subject to capture by the Charlevoix County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.”

  1. Who can vote on the library’s millage

The millage proposal will be included on all ballots within the Charlevoix Public Library’s District which includes the City of Charlevoix, Charlevoix Township, Hayes Township, parts of Eveline Township, Marion Township, and Norwood Township. If you are a registered voter in one of these locations, you can vote on the library’s millage.

  1. When is the election?

The ballot proposal will be on the August 6th, 2024 ballot. Absentee ballots for this election will be mailed after June 22nd, 2024.

  1. When was the last time the library asked for a millage?

The library’s last millage request was in 2004 when voters approved a bond millage of 0.7500 to purchase and renovate the old middle school into the library as well as an operating millage of 0.6500 to fund the operating costs of the new facility.

  1. How Does Our Community Use the Library?

The Charlevoix Public Library’s mission is “to engage the community with resources that educate, enrich, and empower.” Broadly, some of the ways we accomplish this mission is through the provision of:

  • Physical and digital materials for borrowing
  • Technology such as public computers and high speed Wi-Fi
  • Programming including lectures, classes, concerts, and more
  • Expert answers from a skilled and helpful staff team
  • Local history materials both physically and digitally
  • Meeting spaces for groups and individuals to work, study, and socialize
  • Inspiring public space available for all.

Statistically, these resources are well used. In 2023 statistical data is as follows:

  • 76,500 physical items as well as 28,000 digital items borrowed
  • Over 90,000 visitors to the library facility
  • 6,200 uses of library computers and over 47,000 connections to our Wi-Fi
  • Over 9,400 participants in a library program
  • Over 16,000 questions answered last year
  • Over 725 uses of our various meeting spaces
  1. How and where do I vote?

There are many ways to vote in Michigan including in-person and via an absentee ballot. However, to vote, you must be registered. This can be accomplished online here or at your local township or city clerk’s office. You can register as late as 8pm on election day; however, registering sooner rather than later is recommended.

To find the location of your polling place, ballot drop boxes or clerks office, visit the Michigan Voter Information Center website run by the State of Michigan found here.

To vote at home via an absentee ballot, you must apply before 5 pm the Friday before the election. This can be done online here or again through your local City or Township Clerk. 

  1. How is the library funded?

Your library is primarily funded by resident approved millages. In fact, 77% of the library’s operating budget comes from two millages including an in-perpetuity millage of 0.4304 mills approved in 1997 and the expiring 0.6143 mills approved in 2024. Other sources of income include:

  • Donations – these vary from year to year but account for 5-7% of the library budget annually
  • Penal Fines – In the State of Michigan, a portion of the money you pay for small infractions like speeding goes to your public library. This accounts for another 5% of our income
  • Other sources – lastly sources like grants, contributions from local governmental units like the DDA, fees from services such as our copier or meeting rooms all add up to another 7% of our funding.
  1. What does our money pay for?

Your tax dollars as well as the other income sources the library relies on pay for all of the services you have come to expect, including the cost of personnel to make all of those services happen, and the maintenance and operation of our beautiful facility. A breakdown of expenses includes:

  • Employment of 20 team members including 7 full time staff members and 13 part time staff members. These costs account for 50% of the library’s expenditures
  • Maintaining our beautiful facility accounts for 34% of the library’s expenses
  • Purchasing materials for borrowing accounts for 8% of the library’s expenses
  • A wide variety of other expenses such as technology, office supplies, and more account for the final 8% of the library’s expenses
  1. Does the library have a savings or fund balance?

Thanks to responsible fiscal management, the library, as recommended by the State of Michigan preserves a fund balance that is roughly equivalent to the cost of operating the library for six months.

Additionally, the library maintains a separate Capital Improvement budget which is funding that can only be used for maintenance of our facility. Again, due to careful fiscal management and planning, this fund has allowed the library to carry out some necessary larger infrastructure projects in the last few years. Further, as our building ages, maintaining this fund and therefore our building will become more important, and it is for this reason that the library is requesting an additional .1857 mills.

  1. What is a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and why is it in your ballot proposal?

The purpose of a brownfield redevelopment authority (BRA) is to assist development projects that face economic challenges due to environmental issues.  BRA’s are funded by capturing a very small amount of local taxes from other millages as property values increase. Here in Charlevoix, the cement plant is a designated brownfield and therefore, a small portion of the library’s millage may be captured over time in order to redevelop the cement plant site should it cease operations in the future.