At the end of this year our operating millage will expire, which provides the district with $30.1 million for teaching and learning. The Grand Rapids Board of Education has placed a ballot question for the November 7, 2017 election to renew this non-homestead operating millage. 

A non-homestead operating millage does not affect primary residences. By establishing a non-homestead rate, the millage only applies to non-residential properties, such as businesses and second homes. 

The ballot proposal, asking for 19 mills over 10 years, will allow GRPS to levy a maximum of 18 mills. Under Proposal A, the year-to-year increases in property values on which the operating millage is assessed, is limited to the lesser of the inflation rate or 5%. If property values increase at a rate greater than inflation, then the millage rate has to be “rolled-back” in order to limit the amount of taxes that could be collected. This “roll-back” is commonly referred to as the Headlee Rollback. This is no different from the last time the non-homestead operating millage was overwhelmingly approved in November 2009. Approval of the November 7, 2017 proposal would be a continuation of the already assessed millage, which GRPS has depended on since 1994.

Since it's last approval in 2009, GRPS has become a state and national example for urban education. Our enrollment, attendance, test scores, and graduation rates are all up and increasing. GRPS is poised to start growing, as evidenced by the best count day in 2 decades and a 50% increase in graduation rates over 5 years. However, the district cannot maintain this momentum without the critical funds provided by this non-homestead operating millage. 

If it is not renewed, we would be forced to make devastating cuts that would destabilize the district, disrupt our children's education, and really negatively impact the success of the GRPS Transformation Plan.

 Tuesday, October 10th  Deadline to register to vote
 Saturday, November 4th  Deadline to apply for absentee ballot
 Monday, November 6th  Deadline to in-person absentee vote
 Tuesday, November 7th  Election Day (Polls open 7AM-8PM)


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View Sample Ballot

Register to Vote

You must register by October 10th in order to vote in the November 2017 election. 

Register In-Person (Bring photo ID)

Michigan Secretary of State branch offices

City of Grand Rapids Clerk's office

Register by Mail 

Complete the Voter Registration Application and mail it back to:

300 Monroe Ave NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Request Your Absentee Ballot

If you meet on of the qualification below, you can vote using an absent voter ballot. Request your ballot today! 


  • Age:‚Äč Voter is 60 years of age or older.
  • Absent: Voter expects to be absent from the community in which he/she is registered for the entire time the polls are open on Election Day.
  • Physically unable: Voter is physically unable to attend the polls without the assistance of another person.
  • Religion: Voter cannot attend the polls because of the tenets of his/her religion.
  • Election worker: Voter has been appointed an election precinct inspector in a precinct other than the precinct where he/she resides.
  • Confinement: Voter cannot attend the polls because he/she is confined to jail awaiting arraignment or trial.

Apply By Mail

Call the Clerk's Office at 616-456-3010.

Apply In Person

You can bring your photo ID to the City of Grand Rapids Clerk's Office to complete the Absent Voter Application and be issued a ballot.




  • NOT a new millage 
  • NOT a millage increase 
  • NOT a tax on homeowners 
  • NOT paid by owner-occupied or primary residence taxpayers

Don't forget to remind your family, friends, and neighbors to GET OUT THE VOTE on November 7, 2017!