Hanover-Horton School District’s operating millage fails to pass

“It means we’re $60,000 short...”
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 5:17 PM EDT
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HORTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - Results are in for Tuesday’s special election, and it’s disappointing for some local school districts. Especially Jackson County’s Hanover-Horton School District.

Voters there shot down the district’s operating millage request. Their failed operating millage wasn’t a renewal but was meant to replace their previous operating millage. Their superintendent said some people thought it was an additional millage, which he thinks played a role in its failure.

“It’s a replacement, but legally we can’t put replacement on the ballot. Between the confusion, and some of the economic times and inflation that people are dealing with, I think it hurt us,” said John Denney, Hanover-Horton’s Superintendent.

Denney said students shouldn’t notice the funding cuts to their budget, but he was still disappointed. He said schools have had lots of practice getting creative and working with what they have over the past 20 years, especially since the Headlee Rollbacks and millage reduction started taking place in Michigan.

“Unfortunately, with this one not going, it means we’re $60,000 short in the tax collection this cycle,” said Denney.

He said leftover COVID funds will help fill in the gaps, but a couple of years ago it would’ve been a much bigger problem.

“The bottom line is, we’re okay this year, we’re okay next year. We have to have it passed before July 1 of ‘25. At that point, it hits the $1.3-1.4 million loss,” Denney said. “There’s really no way for us to move forward without having a millage in place.”

He said they’ll be trying again in future elections.

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