Millage Facts

Millage - Library

What is the Library asking for?

You will be asked to vote on a renewal of the Library’s current 2.25 mills and an increase of 0.25 mills, for a total millage rate of 2.5 mills.  That means you will pay $2.50 for every $1,000 of the taxable (assessed) value of your property to support Albion District Library operations.

Our current 2.25 millage rate was approved in 2007 and will expire on December 31, 2016.  If approved, you will see this new 2.5 millage rate on your 2017-2026 Winter Taxes to fund our 2018-2027 budgets.



How much money does the millage renewal provide?

Millage revenue made up more than 84% of the Library’s 2015 operating budget.  District-wide, the 2.25 renewal millage is estimated to provide $462,060.  The 0.25 increase is estimated to provide an additional $51,340.  This additional funding would allow the Library to restore Sunday hours, which were cut in 2014, and restore our budget for new materials (child, teen, and adult fiction, non-fiction, audiobook, and DVDS) back to their 2011 levels.

Please note that these revenue figures are estimated and before tax capture.



Why is the Library seeking a millage renewal and an increase of 0.25 mill?

Millage Revenue GraphIf approved the Library will continue to receive the same 2.25 mills that was first passed in 2007, with a new increase of 0.25 mill.  This small increase will restore funding that has been lost due to falling property values in the district.  If approved, this new 2.5 millage rate would take effect on the 2017 Winter Taxes and would fund our 2018 budget, allowing us to:

  1. Restore Sunday Open Hours: Due to dramatically decreased millage revenue (see graph), the Library was forced to cut Sunday hours in 2014. This funding, if approved, would allow us to restore those four (4) open hours on Sundays, starting in 2018.
  1. Restore Budget for New Materials: Our budget for books, DVDs, and audiobooks has dropped to half of what it was five (5) years ago, forcing deep cuts in new purchases in every department – children, teen, and adult. This funding, if approved, would allow us to restore purchasing of new materials back to 2011 levels, starting in 2018.



Library Revenue Pie ChartWhat will the library do if the millage renewal does not pass?

Our current millage expires on December 31, 2016.  In 2015, millage revenue was contributed 84% of our entire budget.

If approved, this request will constitute an estimated 88% of our 2018 budget.  Without voter approval to levy on winter 2017 property taxes for the 2018 operating budget, the Library would, unfortunately, need to address this through significant reductions in collections, programming, staffing, and service hours.



How are public libraries in Michigan funded?

Public libraries in Michigan are primarily funded through local property tax millage.  In 2015, it made up 84% of Albion District Library’s funding.  Penal fines from the county provided approximately 5.6% and State Aid provided another 1.4% of the 2015 budget.  Additional funding came from donations, grants, fines and fees, and other miscellaneous sources.



Who may vote on the library millage renewal election?

All registered voters of the City of Albion, Albion Township, and Sheridan Township, except for those living within the Mar Lee and Springport School Districts.

Don’t know where you polling location is?  Click HERE for a map and addresses of polling locations in Sheridan Township, City of Albion, and Albion Township.

Don’t know which precinct you’re in within the City of Albion, click HERE to see individual precinct maps on the City Clerk’s webpage.  Scroll down to “Where do I vote?”



What is the wording on the ballot on August 2, 2016?

“Shall the Albion District Library be authorized to levy a tax annually upon the taxable value of all property subject to ad valorem taxation within the district of the Albion District Library in an amount not to exceed 2.5 mills ($2.50 for each $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of ten (10) years, 2017 through 2026, inclusive, to provide funds for all Library purposes authorized by law?

The following is for informational purposes:  This millage is a renewal of the previously authorized millage of 2.25 mills which will expire following the 2016 levy, and a new additional millage of 0.25 mills, for a total authorized millage of 2.5 mills ($2.50 per $1,000 of taxable value).  This millage rate of 2.5 mills will be subject to a Headlee Amendment reduction, if any, in 2017 prior to the first levy in 2017.  This millage will raise an estimated $513,400 in 2017, the first year of the levy.

To the extent required by law, a portion of the total revenues from the tax levy (approximately 5.8% in the first year of the levy) will be captured within the districts of and disbursed to the City of Albion Downtown Development Authority, the City of Albion Tax Increment Finance Authority, and the City of Albion Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.”



What does “captured” mean?

Small areas within the City of Albion have been designated as Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA), and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) districts.  By Michigan law, they receive funding by capturing the growth on property values, and taxes, in their districts.  The Library still receives property taxes from these properties, minus the small portion for use by these groups.  This law has no effect on properties outside of the designated districts.  This means no funds are captured from Township taxes or from property taxes in the City of Albion that are outside of their districts.  The reason that the statement is included in the ballot language is because the law requires that libraries disclose any authority that might capture funds on a library millage.



How long has Albion had a library?

In 1870, the Albion Ladies Library Association (ALLA) developed Albion’s first lending library in a private home on West Center Street.  The following year, the library moved to council rooms above the fire station on South Superior Street.  In 1884, the library moved with the fire station to West Cass Street.  In 1898, it moved to the Mary Sheldon Ismon House.  In 1906, it became tax-supported – a true public library.

1918 APL - digging foundation

1918: Teams of horse-drawn plows dig the foundation of the new Albion Public Library.

In January 1917, the Albion Federation of Women’s Clubs petitioned the Albion City Council, requesting that the council apply to Andrew Carnegie, a self-made steel tycoon and one of the wealthiest American businessmen of his time.  Although he had little formal education, Carnegie believed in the importance of books and learning and spent more than $60 million to fund 1,689 public libraries across the country.  In 1918, Andrew Carnegie granted Albion $17,500 for the construction of a dedicated library in Albion.  This is the equivalent of $277,000 in today’s money.  Construction began with the help of horse-drawn plows.  The building was dedicated on May 1, 1919.

By the early 1970s, the Albion Public Library had outgrown the original building.   An addition was built in 1976 to provide more space, as well as handicapped access at the main entrance on Ash Street and an elevator.  Albion Public Library became Albion District Library with the passing of the original millage in 2007, and now has more than 86,900 physical and digital items and over 3,100 active cardholders.


How much does the library get used?

The Albion District Library is a busy place!  In 2015, we saw 64,583 visitors, circulated more than 66,300 physical and digital items, and welcomed patrons of all ages at 642 educational, recreational, or informational programs offered by ADL.

We provide public computer access, copying, printing, scanning, faxing, and free wireless internet.  We meet a large need in our area by providing an Adult Basic Education/GED Tutoring Program, supported by community donations, and offered local GED Testing through Pearson VUE.

With funding from the Friends of the Albion District Library, we offer a booming summer reading program for children, teens, and adults, which serves hundreds of area residents each year.  Thanks to a grant from the Albion-Homer United Way, we are working to address the need for family literacy services in our area, with programs aimed at families with children up to age 8.

With support from individual community donors; local community groups and businesses; and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, our Dolly Parton Imagination Library services over 320 children every month with free, age appropriate books mailed directly to their homes.


Each year, the needs of our community changes and Albion District Library seeks out new and innovative ways to help meet those needs.  If you have suggestions on how we can better serve the needs of our community, please contact Library Director, Cynthia Stanczak at (517) 629-3993.  We are always looking for volunteers, advocates, and Friends to help make ADL the best Library it can be – funded by our community, for our community.