Frequently Asked Questions for Detroit Public Schools Operating Millage: PROPOSAL S (S = Schools/Success)

On Tuesday, November 6, Detroit voters will have the opportunity to vote on renewing and restoring the Detroit Public Schools Operating Millage. Proposal S would allow the school district to continue to levy mills previously levied for general operating purposes on non-homestead property (mainly industrial, commercial and rental property). Owner-occupied homes are exempt from this levy under existing law, meaning their taxes will not increase.

  • Proposal S is a renewal of current taxes. It IS NOT a new tax.
  • Proposal S IS NOT a tax on resident homeowners. It is a tax paid by the owners of industrial, commercial and rental properties.
  • Proposal S provides for continued operating funds for Detroit Public Schools to allow teaching and learning to continue uninterrupted.


Is this a new tax?
NO. This is a renewal of a previously approved tax. It is for the same amount that voters approved in 2005.

My family owns the home that we reside in. If this millage is approved, will my taxes increase?
NO. This millage is on industrial, commercial and rental property, otherwise known as non-homestead property, and has no affect on the taxes of individual resident homeowners. Your taxes will remain the same.

Will any of the funds raised by Proposal S be used to build or renovate school buildings in the district?
NO. The millage funds are used strictly for day-to-day expenses of the school district.

Will any of the millage funds be given to the Education Achievement Authority?
No. The funds generated by the renewal of the operating millage will be used only in support of educating Detroit Public Schools students.

What is the term of this millage?
10 years — from 2013 through 2022.

How much of the District’s annual operating budget revenue comes from the millage?
Approximately 21% of the District’s annual operating budget (approximately $80.9 million).

If this proposal is not passed, what would be the effect on education in Detroit Public Schools?
Operating funds cover day-to-day expenses used to educate approximately 50,000 students in DPS’ 100 schools. A loss of $80.9 million in operating funds could eliminate the funding, for example, of some 900 teaching positions in our students’ schools.

Is this millage unique to Detroit Public Schools?
NO. This tax is levied by virtually all school districts in the state of Michigan.

How will funds generated by the millage be used?

  • Classroom instruction
    • Qualified teachers at the front of every classroom
    • No longer a “one-size-fits-all” model — Individualized Learning Maps for all students and academic blueprints for all parents
  • Technology
    • Take-home Netbooks for students in grades 8-12
    • Teacher workstations in every classroom
  • Intercollegiate athletics
  • Music and arts programming

Where can I learn more?
Additional information and updates are provided on the district’s website,, or by calling the informational hotline at (313) 873-4542. Also, numerous town hall and other community information meetings will be held across the city between now and Election Day, Tuesday, November 6.


Detroit Public Schools Operating Millage: PROPOSAL S (S = Schools/Success) Q&A

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