On August 2, 2022, Redford Township District Library will ask residents to approve 2 mills to fund the library for a period of 20 years. This millage is not a tax increase. This replaces a 1.4 mill operating millage and a .66 mill debt millage that was levied in 2021.
1. Why is the library asking for the millage?
Without this millage, the library’s revenue will decrease by over 50% and impact our ability to serve the community. Library services that would be reduced or eliminated include hours of operation, the number of books and other materials purchased, digital subscriptions, computer maintenance, events for all ages, and reference assistance.
If approved, residents will see a reduction in mills levied compared to 2021 and the secured funding will allow the library to move forward with renovations to the library. This includes completing the second floor of the library where 18,000 sq. ft. of space has remained unfinished since the library was built in 2004. Renovations would include creating a new space for kids, additional study rooms for all ages, expanded teen space, and more.
You have the opportunity to help decide the future of the library as we strive to inspire ideas, enrich lives, and create community.
2. What will the millage cost?
Compared to what homeowners paid in 2021, residents would see a slight decrease in their taxes.
3. If the millage is approved, how will the money be used?
Passing the library millage will ensure the library maintains its current hours of operation and continues to provide classes, materials, and technology for all ages, allowing:
- Increased staff assistance with technology and research
- Enhanced library facility and timely capital improvements
- Great programming for infants, children, teens, and adults
- Continued leadership in technology and access to high-speed internet
- Additional books, music, movies, audiobooks, and digital content for everyone
4. What will happen if the millage is not approved?
Without the millage, the library’s operating budget will decrease by over 50% in 2022 and lack of funding will diminish services, forcing:
- Cuts to hours of operation
- Reduction in library staff
- Reduced access to library computers
- Cuts to the library materials budget
- Decreased number of classes for all ages
- Elimination of outreach services
5. What does the ballot language say?
Redford Township District Library – Library Millage Proposal
Shall the Redford Township District Library, County of Wayne, Michigan, be authorized to levy a new additional millage annually in an amount not to exceed 2.0 mills ($2.00 on each $1,000 of taxable value) against all taxable property within the Redford Township District Library district for a period of twenty (20) years, 2022 to 2041, inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for all district library purposes authorized by law? The estimate of the revenue the Redford Township District Library will collect if the millage is approved and levied by the Redford Township District Library in the first year (2022) is approximately $1,900,000. By law, a portion of the millage collected may be subject to capture by the Charter Township of Redford Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.
6. Why does the ballot language mention the Brownfield?
The Redford Township Redevelopment Authority uses Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to clean up polluted properties (aka “Brownfields”) within the township. The Redford Township Redevelopment Authority, with approval from the township board, captures TIF revenue to reimburse land developers for cleanup costs that they would not have otherwise incurred if they had developed a “Greenfield” site. This is done when cleanup costs cannot be recovered from the person or entity that caused the pollution. Michigan Public Act 381 controls this process.
7. Why is the millage request for twenty years?
In addition to ensuring that the library can maintain an excellent level of service for many years to come, the twenty-year period allows the library to finish the second floor of the library in addition to the recent improvements to the library. Renovations to the library would commence in the fall of 2023.
8. What improvements will the library be making?
In the last year the library has made a number of capital improvements. In 2021, the library added a new drive through and a new patio area. The drive through allows convenient access for patrons to pick up and drop off library materials. The patio area provides outdoor seating and space for programming opportunities and events. In 2022, the library replaced its aging roof after years of maintenance and repairs. All of these projects were completed using the library fund balance and not new taxpayer dollars. In 2023, the library plans to renovate the second floor of the library—which has been unfinished since the library was built in 2004. Below are renderings of what is currently envisioned for the new space:
9. Why is the library proposal going on the August 2nd ballot?
If the supplemental millage is approved, library revenue will increase this fiscal year and the library will not have a budget shortfall.
10. How is the library funded?
Between 85% to 90% of the library’s revenue comes from property taxes. Other sources of revenue include penal fines, state aid, donations, and room rental.
11. Does the Library receive money from the Redford Township government?
No. The Redford Township District Library is an autonomous entity established by township voters. The library is separate from and independent of Redford Township government. The library does not receive any funds from the Township.
12. Does the Library have a fund balance (savings)?
Through careful budgeting and cost management, the Library Board has maintained a fund balance or savings to have on hand for repairs and other capital improvements. Most recently, a portion of these funds were used to install a new patio area, drive through hold pick-up/book return, and replace the library’s roof. Most of the funds are reserved for:
- Cash flow while the library is waiting for tax collections to be disbursed
- Unforeseen expenses and emergencies
- Major maintenance work or capital projects taking place in the future
13. What do non-residents pay?
Non-Redford Township residents can purchase a library card for an annual fee of $125. This allows them to borrow books and media and to use computers.
14. How does the library benefit the community?
The library works to benefit the community in the following ways:
- Supports an active, informed community by providing access to books, music, movies, and more. Our special collections serve specific community needs: lending mobile hotspots, seeds, puzzles, and more.
- Provides well-trained and knowledgeable staff to meet informational needs for all ages.
- Works to preserve historical information about the community and makes it accessible through digitization.
- Offers a place to work, study, and grow with access to high-speed internet and meeting spaces.
- Partners with parents and schools to encourage reading with events and storytime classes.
In 2021, the Redford residents saved over $3 million dollars borrowing items from the library instead of purchasing.
16. How do I vote?
Go to michigan.gov/vote to check if you are registered to vote and to find your polling location. If you have a question about your precinct, call the Office of the Redford Township Clerk at (313) 387-2750
17. How do I request an absentee ballot?
If you would like to have your name placed on the permanent absentee ballot list, please contact the Redford Clerk’s office at:
All registered voters in Michigan can now vote using what’s called an absentee ballot. You don’t need an excuse or a reason. You can vote by absentee ballot through the mail, without leaving your home. Once ballots are available, you may walk into the Clerk’s office, request an absentee ballot application, fill it out, and immediately be given your ballot to cast your vote.
Have questions about the library’s ballot proposal? You’re invited to attend a community information meeting at the Redford Township District Library.
- Tuesday, June 21st from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- Tuesday, July 12th from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
- Saturday, July 16th from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM