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Sanilac District Library Funding Sources

Public libraries are not subsidized by the federal or state government. Library collections of audio books, books in print, magazines and movies are not provided by publishers free of charge. Libraries do not receive free or reduced utility services. Libraries are required by law to have paid staff. Public libraries rely on local millages or appropriations from city, county, township or village government for operating revenue.

Sanilac District Library Millage

The State of Michigan requires that a public library receive at least 3/10ths of a mill in local support. The minimum amount required to open the doors to the public. This should not be interpreted as the total needed to provide the services necessary to our community.

An operating millage of 0.625 mills was originally approved by voters in June 1999 and renewed in 2009 and 2018 to provide a stable source of income. Prior to that, SDL was not able to provide quality library services and could not meet the requests of our patrons. Since the millage was approved, every goal has been accomplished. Local dollars are used locally. The District Library Millage supplies approximately 60% of the library's income.

The Headlee Amendment may reduce the amount of tax received. The district millage income fluctuates according to property values and the Headlee Amendment.  If Headlee is in effect, the millage rate is permanently reduced.  In 2022, the millage rate was reduced to 0.6079.

Millage levy history


Headlee Reduction

Reduction Fraction

Millage Rate

Levied in 2021- received in 2022





Levied in 2020 - received in 2021





2019: 1st levy of  2019-2028 renewed millage





2018: Last levy of 2009-2018 expired millage




















How much does this really cost taxpayers?

The cost to property owners in SDL's legal service area is 62 and ½ cents for every $1,000 in taxable value of their property. For example, the district library tax for property with a taxable value of $50,000 would be $31.25 a year or $2.61 a month or 60¢ a week or 9¢ per day. ($50,000 x 0.000625 = 31.25)

Divide the cost by the number of people who live in your household. New adult fiction books cost between $25 - $38. The cost to most property owners is about the cost of one book.

Check out What's Your Library Worth  developed by to find out how much value you receive every time you borrow an item or visit SDL.  The more you visit SDL in person or virtually, the more benefits you receive. 

Sanilac County Library Millage

2/10ths of a mill has been levied since 1984 and is distributed per capita to the libraries that serve Sanilac County residents. The purpose of this millage is to supplement declining revenue and offset the rising costs of operating expenses. This millage is renewable every four years and may also be affected by the Headlee Amendment.  Sanilac District Library received $44,579.23 in 2022. The millage income varies according to property values, the Headlee Amendment and population size. The county library millage provides approximately 21% of Sanilac District Library’s revenue, which is the equivalent of SDL’s entire book and materials budget.

 How is the cost of the County Library Millage Determined?

Multiply the taxable value of your property by 2/10 of a mill (.0002) or multiply the taxable value by .2 and divide the total by 1,000.


Taxable Value

Cost Per Year


Taxable Value

Cost Per Year





















Penal Fines

The Michigan State Constitution mandated in 1835 that revenue from state penal laws be distributed to libraries. Penal fines are collected within each county in Michigan for violations such as speeding. Penal fines are distributed per capita to the libraries within each county. The amount of the fine is determined at the discretion of the district court judge. Local government ordinances have diverted some of these funds away from libraries and higher court costs have caused a decline in penal fines. $16,229.13 was received in 2022.  Penal fines accounted for 0.08% of the library's income.

 State Aid

Michigan Public Act 89 states that libraries should receive $1.50 in state aid per capita. In order to qualify for State Aid, libraries must receive at least 3/10ths of a mill in local support. Libraries must also complete a list of minimum requirements for open hours and staff certification. Libraries are required to be a member of a library cooperative and half of the State Aid is mandated by law to be paid to a library cooperative as membership dues. State Aid was only fully funded once in 1998. $4,110.16 was received in 2022. 98¢ per capita. Libraries must rely on local funding to stay in operation. State Aid provided .02% of SDL's revenue.

 Other Funding Sources 

In 2022, SDL received $11,194 in donations and memorials, $1,440 in eRate refunds, and $2,995.52 in service charges: overdue fines, movie rental fees, copy & fax fees.   

The combination of all funding sources allows Sanilac District Library to provide the services that our patrons have requested: audio books, books in print, computers, early childhood programs, extended open hours, Interlibrary loan, Internet access, magazines, MelCat delivery, movies, newspapers, digital materials (downloadable audio books, eBooks & eMagazines) through Libby by OverDrive, programs of special interest and qualified staff to help you find the information you need in a clean, well-organized safe environment. 

 Sanilac District Library Q & A

Who owns Sanilac District Library?

Sanilac District Library belongs to every person who owns property in Sanilac Township and the Carsonville-Port Sanilac School District. The library is held in trust for all residents by the Sanilac District Library Board.

Who does SDL serve?

Sanilac District Library's legal service area is Sanilac Township and the Carsonville-Port Sanilac School District. SDL contracts with Forester Township to provide service to 25% of their residents. Sanilac District Library also provides limited services to people with appropriate identification who reside outside of SDL's district and who do not pay the local millage.   

What is taxable value?

Check your winter tax bill to find the taxable value of your property. Taxable value is less than the market value or the amount that you would sell your property for and about half of the SEV (State Equalized Value).

How much did it cost to operate SDL in 2022?

$155,784.07 ($37.25 per capita) was spent on 2022 to provide:

Materials: $17,595.59 for audio books, books in print, magazines in print, movies and a subscription to Libby by OverDrive for digital materials: downloadable audio books, eBooks and eMagazines. 

Operating: $123,444.12 for an audit, building maintenance, dues to White Pine Library Cooperative, insurance, lawn service, library supplies, office supplies, snow removal, staff wages and utilities.

Services: $7,670.21 for programs, computer maintenance and internet access. 

Sanilac District Library was open 264 days in 2022. It cost SDL $590.09 per day to open the doors and $66.64 per day to supply new audio books, books in print, magazines, movies and Libby.

The total value of the creativity, enjoyment, enrichment, FUN, history, information, knowledge and wisdom contained in your library is priceless.

Check out the most current Audit Report filed with the Michigan Department of Treasury.