Library Millage Facts

Election Day is August 6, 2024

The purpose of this operating millage is to provide funds to pay for Traverse Area District Library services for the next 10 years (2024-2033). The existing millage will expire on December 31, 2025. The funds will be used to operate TADL's library network.

What is on the ballot?

On August 6, 2024, residents in the Traverse Area District Library service area will vote on a measure to restore the operating millage to its original amount set in 1983 of 1.1 mills.

  • If residents vote "yes," the existing millage which was reduced by the Headlee amendment will be restored for 10 years at a rate of 1.1 mills. 
  • If residents vote "no," the current millage will expire on 12/31/25. Without millage funding, TADL will lose 90% of its funding.

Who will be voting on the millage?

Any registered voter who resides in Grand Traverse County plus the portions of the City of Traverse City that are inside the boundary of Elmwood Township (Leelanau County).

How much will the millage cost me?

If approved by voters at the rate of 1.1 mills, homeowners will pay $1.10 for each $1,000 of state equalized value (SEV) of their home for each year of the 1.1 mill rate. The millage rate in subsequent years may be subject to Headlee rollbacks (see Headlee section below).This millage vote restores our rate back to 1.1 mills by renewing the current rate of .9044 mills along with a new additional rate of 0.1956 mills.


The average homeowner* in the TADL service area will pay $2.38 per week, less than the cost of one coffee-shop coffee for library services

($123.97 annually).

*Source: American Community Survey 2020 US Census.


Cardholders can check out over 406,393 physical and 1.7 million digital items. The average library card holder achieves a value of $320.08 per year*. 

*Download our library value sheet with the math! (Blue button, top of page)

What is the actual millage language on the ballot?



This proposal is to restore the full amount of the 1996 millage that was approved by the voters in the amount of 1.1 mills beginning with the December 2024 tax levy in order to provide funds for the Traverse Area District Library for the next 10 years.

For the purpose of providing funds for the Traverse Area District Library for all district library purposes authorized by law at an increased millage level, shall the previous voted annual tax rate which may be levied against all taxable property within the Traverse Area District Library district, Grand Traverse County, and a portion of Leelanau County, Michigan, be increased and shall the Traverse Area District Library be authorized to levy up to 1.1 mills ($1.10 per $1,000 of taxable value) as a new, additional millage annually for 10 years, beginning 2024 through 2033, inclusive?

If approved and levied in full, this millage will generate an estimated $8,020,750.00 in revenue for the Traverse Area District Library in the first calendar year of the levy (2024).

By law, a portion of the millage may be disbursed to other governmental entities that capture property taxes within their jurisdictions. These are the Grand Traverse County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Grand Traverse County Land Bank Authority, and the Leelanau County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

  • Yes
  • No

What does the millage fund?

  • The millage is for the purpose of providing funds for the Traverse Area District Library for all district library purposes authorized by law. This includes:
    • All library resources including books, DVDs, e-books, audiobooks, magazines, online databases, nontraditional items, and Wifi hotspots.
    • Programs including storytimes, craft programs, and special presenters and authors.
    • Engagement in the community at schools, senior living facilities, and local events.

What happens if the millage passes?

Approval of the millage ensures that residents in Grand Traverse County, as well as the portions of the City of Traverse City that are within the boundaries of Elmwood Township (Leelanau County), can continue using the Traverse Area District Library. Any resident can get a card and access all library materials.

What happens if the millage fails?

If the millage fails, residents in the service district could continue to use the library under the existing millage until December 31, 2025. After that date, the library system would lose 90% of its funding.

Headlee Amendment Impacts

 In 1978, Michigan voters approved the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution. This amendment puts limits on Michigan tax levies and subjects them to “Headlee Rollbacks.” The TADL service district has had Headlee rollbacks all but one of the millage years. The impact of each rollback is represented in the graphs below.

Graph showing millage rate changes due to Headline Amendment
Graph showing net dollars to library change post-Headlee

Frequently Asked Questions

Public libraries in Michigan are primarily funded through local property tax millage. Approximately 90% of the library’s revenue comes from property taxes collected from the library service district. Each year there is a Headlee rollback, fewer dollars come in for library programs, services, and building updates.

The remaining 10% of library revenues come from state aid, penal fines, investment interest, donations and endowments, and grants.

Yes! Today, more than half of Grand Traverse County residents have a library card. Last year, more than 362,754 people walked through our doors, and checked out 1,283,067 items.

It is more cost-effective from an election standpoint to put the millage on a ballot during a regular general election. If we wait until 2025 TADL would have to pay all the costs of a special election.

If the millage passes in August 2024, the amount approved by voters will take effect on the next tax cycle. 

This millage effort is for all the libraries in the Traverse Area District Library network:


Contact Information

Residents in the library service area with questions about the millage ballot proposal may contact

Library Director Michele P. Howard at