November 6, 2018: Ballot Proposals

On November 6, 2018 residents living in the Peter White Public Library service area will have the opportunity to vote in support of Library services.  PWPL will be on the ballot in several communities:

Each of these service areas has a different ballot proposal, but on each proposal, a yes vote supports the library.  (See the ballot language.)  To find out how much the PWPL ballot proposal will cost you, visit our Library Millage Impact Calculator.


photo of the building on a warm summer day with a woman reading on the bench under an oak tree and flowers blooming in the garden
The mission of the Peter White Public Library is to enrich the community through access to library services and cultural opportunities.


Headlee Information

The Headlee Override ballot approval will restore the original millage rates for library services and help stabilize the library operating budget.

The original Headlee Amendment was made to temporarily limit local government revenue growth by rolling back the tax rate (millage). The Headlee Override involves asking the voters to approve raising the millage rate back to its original rate. Additional information about the Headlee Override can be found on the MSU Extension website.

Contracted and Current Millage Rates
Library Service Area Contracted Millage Rate 2017 Actual Rate Headlee Adjusted
City of Marquette 1.5 1.3685
Chocolay Twp 1.0 .7284
Sands Twp 1.0 .8288


Estimated increases for a home value of $150,000
(taxable value of $75,000)
Library Service Area Approx Headlee Override Household Annual  impact Household Monthly impact
City of Marquette 0.1315 $9.86 $0.82
Chocolay Twp 0.2716 $20.37 $1.70
Sands Twp 0.1712 $12.84 $1.07

(Find your rate with our Library Millage Impact Calculator.)

The Headlee Amendment caps growth; that is why areas with the most growth have the largest Headlee rollback. The Headlee Override only asks to have the original millage rate reset. It does not seek to raise the tax rate above the approved contracted amount.

Why are these proposals needed?

As most people are aware, Michigan Tax Tribunal rulings over the last several years have depleted revenue for all public services, like the Library, that rely on property taxes in order to function.

Our current annual lost revenue is $84,000/year.  We expect to lose an additional $140,000/year from the unresolved challenges before the Tax Tribunal at this time.  The total amount we need to recoup per year to maintain is $224,000.

If all the Ballot Proposals pass this November, we anticipate new revenue to total $223,000.

Looking Forward: What’s Next?

What happens if all ballot proposals pass?
Additional millage funds will stabilize the library operating budget. Depending on how many of the ballot proposals pass, this could create enough additional funding for increased service hours and expanded library services.

What happens if the ballot proposals do not pass?
The PWPL Board of Trustees must consider cuts to library services and operating hours. Cuts will be based on the ballot proposals that are successful and service and operating hour priorities.

Are there additional sources of funding for the library?
The library regularly raises 10% of the operating budget with fundraising. State funding, penal fines and fines/fees account for 15% of the operating budget. The largest amount, 75%, comes from property taxes. To maintain services and operating hours it is crucial that stable tax funding supports the library. Further losses to tax revenue will impact the level of services the library is able to offer.

Graph of funding sources for the library, 75% is property taxes.

Do people still use the library?
Yes! Library use has remained steady over time. PWPL is more than books. Last year the library hosted over 1,700 meetings and over 23,000 people enjoyed 753 library programs.


See Annual Report statistics to better understand how the library is used and funded.

Skip to toolbar