KDL Needs Voters to Pass Another Millage to Close Unexpected Funding Gap

Voters are again being asked to sound off on whether they’d like to support Kent District Library. Due to a clerical error in the last millage vote language, the system has found itself facing a funding shortfall in 2025

In November 2023, voters approved a 15-year renewal millage to keep the library system operational. However, the language on that ballot gave KDL the authority to access millage revenue in December 2025, leaving a gap of no funding from January until December in 2025.

A new KDL millage request will be voted on Aug. 6. This will be a one-year non-renewable millage to bridge the funding gap spanning the entirety of 2025. The millage rate will be 1.1 mills and is estimated to bring in $27.6 million to be used throughout all 20 KDL branches. This is the same millage rate as what was voted on in November 2023.

KDL needs this new millage request to pass in order to stay fully operational for 2025.

There is no overlap of the millage already approved in 2023 and the new millage that is being voted on Aug. 6. There is no cost to taxpayers to have this issue on the ballot, according to the KDL website.

Dave Palma, co-regional manager for the Lowell and Alto branches, says the error in the millage language was found about three months ago.

“Basically it was a clerical error. We did the millage that was approved in November, and what ended up happening was we didn’t have the right start date,” he says. “It went in front of the board, it went in front of about 30 different people, but there was a clerical error from when it started. So we’re fully funded starting in 2026 from that millage, but there’s a gap year.”

“It was a gap that unfortunately no one caught. And thankfully we caught it before next year started, and we have the opportunity to continue the funding as we thought we were,”

Palma said KDL’s fiscal year starts in January, and the taxes that are collected during the current year pay for the following year. The millage language said “starting in 2025,” which means the taxes would be collected in 2025 to pay for 2026.

Absentee ballots for the August primary are now available, and early voting will begin on July 27. For information on how to register and to see a sample ballot, visit the Michigan Department of State elections page.

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