Northville Public Schools » Bonds and Elections » Bond 2023 Frequently Asked Questions

Bond 2023 Frequently Asked Questions

On May 2, 2023, voters in Northville Public Schools will be asked to consider a bond proposal that focuses on key program enhancements, technology upgrades and infrastructure upgrades district wide.  If the bond proposal is approved by voters, it is estimated that the School District will be able to maintain the existing school debt levy (totaling 3.40 mills) and issue the bonds with a ZERO MILL NET INCREASE over the prior year’s debt millage rate. The bond proposal authorizes the issuance of $134.4 million in bonds.  
The key areas of focus for Bond 2023 include:
  • Program enhancements including dedicated STEAM spaces at all learning levels, major upgrades and additions at Meads Mill Middle School to provide comparable spaces and opportunities, and enhancements to playgrounds and multi-activity fields to support students as well as our entire community;
  • Technology enhancements to address both instructional tools and infrastructure needs across the District; and
  • Upgrades to address the aging infrastructure of buildings to improve environmental quality and efficiency of our buildings, as well as reduce operational expenses.
  • A Facilities Condition Assessment, Program Assessment and Technology Study were completed outlining the needs across District buildings with emphasis on needs identified for the next six years.
  • The District convened a group of 27 community members (parents, staff, Board members, students, and other community members) to serve on the Facilities and Technology Assessment Review Committee (FTARC).  The Committee’s charge was to provide input into a plan to upgrade Northville Public Schools’ educational facilities and technology to support learner-centered school communities that meet the vision and goals of the school district and to make a recommendation to the Board of Education regarding a potential bond proposal.
  • The Facilities and Technology Assessment Review Committee held meetings from September 2022 through December 2022, at which time a recommendation was brought to the Board of Education.
  • Early in the process, the Committee listened and learned about the state of NPS facilities and programs and also learned about modern learning environments and what it would take to bring NPS facilities up to those standards.  The committee then prioritized Guiding Principles, which were tenets to guide their thinking as they began the rigorous process of analyzing concepts and ideas to meet those principles.  They also learned about the financial picture regarding a future bond program.  As a final step, a broad community survey was conducted to gain feedback on the direction the committee was considering.
  • On December 6, 2022 the Facilities and Technology Assessment Review Committee presented its findings and recommendation to the Board and on December 13, 2022, the Board unanimously supported placing a $134.4 million bond initiative on the ballot, which would be an estimated zero mill net increase over the current debt millage rate.
The highlights of Bond 2023 are listed here, including:
  • Critical Infrastructure at all Buildings
  • Technology Upgrades across the District
  • Bus Purchases
  • STEAM/Innovation Centers at All Elementary Schools
  • Additional Enhancements at Amerman and Moraine  (multi-purpose/dining addition, collaboration areas)
  • Entry Canopies at Amerman, Moraine, Silver Springs and Winchester
  • Playground Upgrades at All Elementary Schools
  • Major Program Improvements at Meads Mill (STEAM/Robotics addition, multi-activity/gym upgrades, entry canopy, new windows)
  • STEAM/Innovation Center and STEAM Technology at Northville High School
  • New and Expanded Grandstands at the Eight Mile Stadium (4,500 new and replacement seats and handrails)
  • Select NHS Natatorium Renovations
  • Upgrade NHS Baseball + Softball Fields to Synthetic Turf
Detailed listings of new construction and upgrades at each facility are included at the end of this FAQ list.
Instructional Technology Upgrades
    • Replace student devices (Chromebooks & iPads)
    • Replace staff devices
    • Replace classroom interactive technology
    • Replace AV systems in gym, cafeteria and media center
    • Replace teaching space audio enhancements and document cameras
Non-Instructional Technology Upgrades
    • Fiber Network replacement
    • Network Switches
    • Server SAN System
    • Wireless System
    • Phone System
The cornerstone project of Bond 2017 was the addition and the renovation of Hillside Middle School, and approximately 42% of the bond program was allocated for this project.  Another significant investment made with Bond 2017 revenue was the renovation of Old Village School, which supported the relocation of our Early Childhood program and Central Office functions from the former Main Street School. These two projects enabled key investment in critical infrastructure and building systems at Hillside and Old Village, fully updating these sites to the very latest building standards. Significant renovations were also made to Cooke School with Bond 2017 revenue. Although additional facility needs at Cooke School remain following Bond 2017, we requested and received supplemental funding  from Wayne RESA to enable additional building system upgrades at that site, precluding the need to allocate Bond 2023 revenue for the additional upgrades needed at Cooke School.
The School District receives operational funding from the State of Michigan for every student attending Northville Public Schools. The quality of a community’s school district is generally regarded as an important consideration by potential home buyers. Also, the quality of a school district’s programs and the condition of its facilities are two factors that many parents consider when deciding where to send their children to school. The goal of the bond program is to support updated teaching methods and to continue to provide safe, appropriate and comfortable learning environments and sites for our children. The educational landscape is becoming more competitive, and parents have many choices as to where to enroll their children in school. The Board of Education and administration believe that this Bond Program will help to provide an appropriate learning environment that complements the district programming and supports efforts to attract and retain our students.
Residents without school-aged children derive both direct and indirect benefits from the condition of our school buildings and the quality of our programs. Northville, in particular, is a true community school district, meaning many community members use District facilities after school hours. Having safe and accessible facilities provides a direct benefit for those individuals using District facilities. 

In addition, studies show that houses associated with higher-quality schools may command a much higher price premium, indicating a positive correlation between the learning environment and student outcomes, a strong school community, and housing values.
Each school day, approximately 2,400 of the district’s more than 7,200 students are transported to school via the school district’s fleet of buses.   The District has found that, as buses reach nine years of use or 150,000 miles, replacement becomes necessary so that the district avoids increasing maintenance costs and downtime. Historically, the district has purchased buses through the use of bond funds.  By using bond proceeds for the purchase of buses, the district avoids diverting funds from our general operating budget that could otherwise be used to support classroom instruction.  From the proposed bond issue approximately twenty-five buses will be replaced.
No, it is estimated that the School District’s total debt millage rate will remain at 3.40 mills. 
Zero Increase to current debt millage rate - current: 3.40 mills - If proposed bond passes: 3.40 mills
A bond is a lump-sum dollar amount that a school district borrows through the sale of bonds, in order to fund capital projects. Taxpayers pay the bond money back over a period of years with interest – similar to a home mortgage – by way of the debt millage levied by the district. This provides the district with the ability to fund major capital projects and program improvements without impacting the General Fund.

In Michigan, a Sinking Fund is a millage levied to support school safety improvements, instructional technology improvements, and the repair, renovation, and construction of school buildings. This millage is a limited property tax considered a pay-as-you-go method for addressing building repairs and improvements. No debt or interest payments are incurred with a Sinking Fund. 
No. School districts are not allowed to use Bond dollars for operating expenses such as teacher, administrator or employee salaries or benefits. Bond funds must be kept separate from the district’s operating funds.
Bond proceeds cannot be used for the following items:
    • Staff salaries and wages;
    • General operating expenses, repairs and maintenance;
    • Classroom supplies and textbooks; and
    • Administrative costs.

Bond proceeds can be used for the following items:
    • Construction and remodeling of facilities;
    • Purchase of technology equipment and infrastructure;
    • Purchase of equipment and furniture;
    • Site improvements; and
    • Purchase of buses.
  Estimate of Costs
Amerman Elementary School $10,530,000
Moraine Elementary School $8,776,000
Ridge Wood Elementary School $6,679,000
Silver Springs Elementary School $8,847,000
Thornton Creek Elementary School $3,024,000
Winchester Elementary School $8,520,000
Hillside Middle School $63,000
Meads Mill Middle School $20,861,000
Northville High School $29,680,000
Stadium Plateau $2,556,000
Transportation $1,927,000
Old Village School $60,000
Buses $2,500,000
Technology Infrastructure $29,000,000
Educational Tech & Operations $1,377,000
Amount of Proposed Bond Issue $134,400,000
All properties in Michigan are assessed 6.000 mills for the State Education Tax (SET), which flows into the State’s School Aid Fund. 
Aside from the SET, school taxes paid by Northville School District residents that go directly to the District include the 2020 Sinking Fund levy of .9396 (down from the original millage of 0.9519 due to Headlee) and the current debt levy of 3.40 mills. In addition, the District levies 18 mills on non-homestead property to pay a portion of its operating expenses. Some districts outside of Northville also assess a Hold Harmless millage, which provides supplemental funding for on-going expenses. Northville is not a Hold Harmless district, and as a result, is not permitted to levy this millage.
As shown in the chart below, when considering combined Sinking Fund Millage, Debt and Hold Harmless Millage levies, Northville’s combined tax burden is relatively lower than the combined millages levied by neighboring and peer districts.  
2022 FY Millage Rates - Comparison Districts (excludes State Education Tax - 6 mills) Northville Debt Retirement: 3.4000, Hold Harmless: 0.0000, Sinking Fund: 0.9396, Total: 4.3396. Plymouth-Canton Debt Retirement: 4.0000, Hold Harmless: 0.0000, Sinking Fund: 0.0000, Total: 4.0000. Livonia Debt Retirement: 4.1000, Hold Harmless: 0.0000, Sinking Fund: 1.5766, Total: 5.6766. Ann Arbor Debt Retirement: 4.1000, Hold Harmless: 2.6423, Sinking Fund: 2.4103, Total: 9.1526. Grosse Pointe Debt Retirement: 3.1400, Hold Harmless: 4.3525, Sinking Fund: 0.9661, Total: 8.4586. South Lyon Debt Retirement: 7.0000, Hold Harmless: 0.0000, Sinking Fund: 0.0000, Total: 7.0000. Troy Debt Retirement: 4.1000, Hold Harmless: 3.0693, Sinking Fund: 0.9651, Total: 8.1344. Bloomfield Hills Debt Retirement: 2.7500, Hold Harmless: 5.4440, Sinking Fund: 0.6976. Total: 8.8916. Novi Debt Retirement: 6.5000, Hold Harmless: 1.1364, Sinking Fund: 0.4713, Total: 8.1077. Farmington Debt Retirement: 3.2000, Hold Harmless: 5.7067, Sinking Fund: 0.0000, Total: 8.9067. Birmingham Debt Retirement: 3.8000, Hold Harmless: 5.0142, Sinking Fund: 0.0000, Total: 8.8142.
Source: Michigan Department of Treasury, preliminary data as of November 2022
Yes.  All revenue from the bond proposal will stay in the district.  No revenue will go to Lansing or to any other school district.
Property taxes may be deductible as itemized deductions on your federal income tax return if you itemize. You may also be eligible for the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit on your Michigan income tax return. Please consult with your tax preparer.
The Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit is a method through which some taxpayers can receive a tax credit for an amount of their property tax that exceeds a certain percentage of their household income. This program establishes categories under which homeowners or renters are eligible for a Homestead Property Tax Credit.
Please consult with your tax preparer to determine if you are eligible for this important and valuable tax credit. 
  • Final day to register to vote is Election Day.
  • Final day to vote absentee is 8pm on Election Day if turning your ballot in in-person or dropping it in a secure drop box in your jurisdiction.  To avoid the potential for mailing delays, it is strongly recommended that you mail your absentee ballot at least 14 days prior to an election to ensure it is received in time and can be tabulated.
  • Election Day is Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
To vote in the May 2, 2023 school election, you must be a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years of age by Election Day; not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison; a resident of Michigan and Northville Public Schools for at least 30 days when you vote. Please visit your local city or township clerk’s office to register or visit any Secretary of State office. You can also register online.  You must show your proof of residency (hard copy or digital) including driver’s license, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or other government document.    
Due to the passage of the Statewide ballot proposal in November 2018, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.
Applications for Absentee Ballots are available:
    • At your local clerk’s office
    • On-line at (available 75 days before Election Day)
Shall Northville Public Schools, Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed One Hundred Thirty-Four Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($134,400,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of: 

erecting, furnishing, and equipping additions to and remodeling,
furnishing and re-furnishing, and equipping and re-equipping
school facilities; acquiring and installing instructional technology;
purchasing school buses; and erecting, furnishing, equipping,
developing, and improving playgrounds, parking areas, sidewalks,
sites, and athletic fields and facilities? 

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2023 is .7 mill ($0.70 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a -0- mill net increase over the prior year's levy. The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is twenty-two (22) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 1.69 mills ($1.69 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation). 

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)
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