Revised School Code Section 1613 allows a school district or ISD to authorize local taxing jurisdictions to levy half or all school taxes on July 1 by filing a summer tax resolution with the local taxing jurisdictions. If your district currently has a summer tax levy and would like it to continue in 2021, your district’s board of education must adopt a resolution and file a copy of that resolution with each city and township within your district’s boundaries on or before December 31, 2020.
Section 1613 states that a “[summer tax] resolution by its terms may be applicable until revoked by the board.” Although this language suggests that a school board does not need to adopt and file a summer tax resolution each year, the Michigan Court of Appeals has held that Section 1613 requires annual board action to implement a summer tax levy. District officials should not rely on language in a summer tax resolution stating that it is effective “until specifically revoked by the Board” to bypass the required annual summer tax resolution process.
A district that did not levy a summer tax in 2020 may institute a summer tax levy for 2021. Likewise, a district that previously authorized a 50% summer tax collection and wants to increase to a 100% summer tax collection (or vice versa) may make that modification for 2021. To authorize a summer tax levy for the first time, or to modify the collection percentage, the board must adopt a different resolution at a properly noticed public meeting by December 31, 2020. To implement or modify a summer tax collection for 2021, please contact Thrun Law Firm, and we will provide you with the required forms.
Please note that the December 31 deadline is statutory. Each year, we receive calls from clients asking what to do if that deadline is missed. Unfortunately, the answer is “nothing.” Failing to adopt and file a summer tax resolution by December 31 means that all school taxes for the subsequent year must be levied on the December tax rolls.
District officials should also be aware that the State of Michigan only pays the collection costs for the State’s education tax (6 mills) if no other summer property tax is collected by the tax collecting unit (other than the State education tax and county taxes). If your district implements a summer tax levy and the only other summer tax collection in your jurisdiction is the State’s education tax and county taxes, your district will be solely responsible for the applicable summer tax collection costs.