2024 Sinking Fund Proposal

What is a Sinking Fund? 

A sinking fund is a millage that a district can levy with voter approval. It is generally utilized for “pay as you go” projects and allows for execution of infrastructure improvements. At GHAPS, the sinking fund would be used primarily for work such as repair and replacement over time of parking lots, air handlers, boilers, classroom carpet, roofing, 1-to-1 devices for student instruction, public announcement system, and emergency building repairs. It cannot be used for operating expenses, regular maintenance, and employee salaries & benefits.

Sinking Fund Value & Cost

The 2024 0.70 mill sinking fund proposal would be first levied on the 2025 tax bills. It is estimated to raise $2.2 million dollars in the first year.

Example Projects

  • Upgrades to safety equipment districtwide 
  • Improve safety lighting in parking lots 
  • 1 to 1 devices for students 
  • Update the public announcement system 
  • New parking lots 
  • Site upgrades 
  • GHHS roof replacement 
  • Classroom carpet replacement 
  • Air handler upgrades 
  • Boiler upgrades 
  • Elevator upgrades for 2028 code

Added Transparency

  • Adopt language in board policy 6220 that requires the Sinking Fund budget to be approved by the Board of Education annually.
  • Annual Financial Overview board report each September.
  • Capital Projects Dashboard to be available on the District website
  • Implementation of the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR).
  • The Sinking Fund is required by law to be audited each year.
  • Capital Projects Committee made up of staff and community members
    • If you are interested in serving on this committee, please complete this form.

District Statistics

12 Buildings GHAPS currently supports 7 Elementary Schools, 2 Intermediate/Middle Schools, 2 High Schools, and 1 Administration building
62 years average age Ferry Elementary/Voyager School is the oldest building, built in 1928. The newest building, Grand Haven High School, was opened in 1997. The majority of GHAPS buildings were built in the 1950s and 1960s.
1,072,740 square feet
320 acres of site
26 acres of parking lots
324 Classrooms
20 acres of roofing

For .70 mills, estimated annual property tax is $70 per each $100,000 in taxable value

Estimated Millage Calculator

Note: Community Members may be eligible for the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit (the "Credit"). The Credit is a method through which some taxpayers can receive a credit for an amount of their property taxes that exceeds a certain percentage of household income. This program establishes categories under which homeowners or renters are eligible. We would recommend that community members consult their tax provider for eligibility and further information.

The above is an ESTIMATE of your net tax impact from the increase in millage for the above proposed sinking fund issue. It is an estimate only and should not be relied upon as tax advice. You should consult your tax advisor to determine the exact impact on your tax computations.

GHAPS tax year 2023 Debt Millage rate is 2.29.  In tax year 2025, the Debt Millage rate will be 0.00.  If approved, the .70 Sinking Fund Millage rate would be the only GHAPS levied millage besides the Non-Homestead Millage.

A sinking fund can be used for: 

  • Buses
  • Building upgrades and repairs
  • Site improvements
  • Security upgrades
  • Instructional technology 

A sinking fund cannot be used for: 

  • Operating expenses
  • Regular maintenance
  • Employee salaries & benefits

The District is requesting a $0.70 mill sinking fund to fund the high priority repairs and replacements across the District. However, a sinking fund will not cover all of our aging infrastructure issues, and it does not provide as much funding as a bond would, meaning any transformational work to buildings and facilities must be postponed until other funding mechanisms can raise enough money to enhance learning environments

  • Upgrades to safety equipment districtwide
  • Improve safety lighting in parking lots
  • 1-to-1 devices for student instruction
  • Update the public announcement system
  • New parking lots 
  • Site upgrades
  • GHHS roof replacement
  • Classroom carpet replacement
  • Air handler upgrades
  • Boiler upgrades
  • Elevator upgrades to meet updated building code

GHAPS levies the lowest millage rate of all 15 Ottawa County school districts. Debt millage and sinking fund millage both provide funds for capital improvements. If the sinking fund is approved, GHAPS would still remain the lowest debt + sinking fund combined millage rate of all school districts in Ottawa County.

The owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay approximately $70 per year, or about $5.83 per month.

The proposed sinking fund would generate approximately $25 million for our District over the next 10 years. In 2025, the first year of the levy, the Sinking Fund would generate approximately $2.2 million.

A sinking fund is used on a “pay as you go basis” and all monies collected are utilized to directly benefit the district. A bond is a form of borrowing, which means taxpayers must pay back the borrowed funds over a period of years with interest. A sinking fund is levied, not borrowed, which means the revenues are generated from a tax and do not include the district taking on additional debt or interest expense.

“Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property in Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Ottawa and Muskegon Counties, Michigan, be increased by and the board of education be authorized to levy not to exceed .7 mill ($0.70 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 10 years, 2025 to 2034, inclusive, to create a sinking fund for the purchase of real estate for sites for, and the construction or repair of, school buildings; for school security improvements; for the acquisition or upgrading of technology; for the acquisition of student transportation vehicles; for the acquisition of parts, supplies, and equipment used for the maintenance of student transportation vehicles; for the acquisition of eligible trucks and vans used to carry parts, equipment, and personnel for or in the maintenance of school buildings; for the acquisition of parts, supplies, and equipment used to maintain such trucks and vans; and all other purposes authorized by law; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2025 is approximately $2,218,148?”

Absentee ballots become available on June 22, 2024, for the August 6, 2024 election.

Tuesday, August 6th, 2024.


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