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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 desired by our patrons. Since the millage was approved, every goal has been accomplished. Local dollars are used locally. 

In 2018, the District Library Millage provided $102,290.78. The Headlee Amendment may reduce the amount of tax received. The district millage income fluctuates according to property values and the Headlee Amendment. The District Library Millage supplies approximately 60% of the library's income.

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 ($2.61 a month or 60¢ a week or 9¢ per day).

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 virtually or in person, the more benefits you receive. 

Sanilac County Library Millage

2/10ths of a mill has been levied since 1984 and is distributed 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 revenue is divided per capita per library service area to the eight Sanilac County libraries. This millage is renewalable every four years and may be affected by the Headlee Amendment.  Sanilac District Library received $37,530.35 in 2018. The  millage income varies according to property values, the Headlee Amendment and population size. The county library millage provides approximately 22% of Sanilac District Library’s revenue, which is the equivalent of the entire book and materials budget.

 How is the cost of the County Library Millage  determined per property owner?

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


Taxable Value

Cost Per Year


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 Penal Fines

Penal Fines are collected within each county in Michigan for violations of state penal laws, 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 these funds away from libraries and higher court costs have caused a decline in penal fines. $13,085.81 was received in 2018. ($18,128.15 was received in 2011 and $19,179.69 in 2010). Penal fines accounted for 0.08% of the library's income.

 State Aid

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.

Half of State Aid is required by law to be paid to a library cooperative as membership dues. Public Act 89 states that libraries should receive $1.50 per capita. State Aid was only fully funded once in 1998 and has decreased ever since. $3,208.28 was received in 2018, 73¢ per capita. In 2007, Sanilac District Library received $3,592.60, which equals 79¢ per capita.  $2,967.22 was received in 2008, 66¢ per capita. $1,793.00 was received in 2010, 39¢ per capita. Libraries must rely on local  funding to stay in operation. State Aid provided .02% of SDL's revenue.

Other Funding Sources 

In 2018, SDL received $2,477.86 in donations and memorials, $1,440 in eRate refunds and  $4,473.92 in service charges: overdue fines, movie rental fees, copy fees, FAXing, and replacement cost for lost or damaged materials.  

The combination of all funding sources allows Sanilac District Library to provide the services that our patrons have requested: audio books, books in print
for every age and reading level,  computers, early childhood programs, extended open hours, Interlibrary loan, Internet access, magazines, MelCat delivery, movies, newspapers, OverDrive audio & ebooks,  programs of special interest, RBDigital eMagazines and qualified staff to help you find the information you need in a clean, well organized safe environment. 

Q & A about Sanilac District Library

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. The library contracts with Forester Township to provide service to 25% of their residents. Sanilac District Library also provides service to any U. S. citizen with appropriate identification. Sanilac District Library also serves people outside of our district who do not pay the local millage in the hope that our patrons may visit other libraries and receive service. Sanilac District Library has always had an 'open door' policy, was a charter member of MichiCard and participates in the MelCat Visiting Patron Program. 

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 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 2017?

Materials: $26,670.56 provided library materials: audio books, books in print, magazines in print and movies. Plus subscriptions to OverDrive audio and ebooks and RBDigital eMagazines. 

Operating: $127,701.21 was spent in 2017 for an audit, building maintenance, continuing education for staff, dues to White Pine Library Cooperative, insurance, lawn service, library supplies, office supplies, snow removal, staff wages and utilities.

Services: $15,006.61 was used for programs, computer maintenance and internet access. 

Sanilac District Library was open 300 days in 2017. It cost SDL $564.59 per day to open the doors, $50.02 per day to maintain 6 public access computers and WiFi with high speed Internet access, $88.90 per day to supply new audio books, books in print, magazines and movies. 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.