LANSING, Michigan – Officials from throughout the state representing cities, schools, libraries, police and fire stood together Wednesday and called for guaranteed replacement of Personal Property Tax dollars that Michigan lawmakers are proposing to cut.
On Tuesday, Michigan legislators introduced a package of bills that phase out hundreds of millions of dollars currently going to local communities through the personal property tax were introduced. The bills are very similar to what the League has reported and the Governor’s office has spoken about in the media. Industrial personal property taxes will be phased out beginning in 2016 for all property purchased after 2012. And old personal property will be phased out each over the next several years. Read more about the bills here in this blog post by the Michigan Municipal League’s Summer Minnick.
Those speaking – all members of the Replace Don’t Erase coalition – during the press conference explained that residents of local communities will pay higher property taxes and shoulder more cuts to local public schools, police and fire services under bills proposed in the state Senate. A Senate finance committee hearing on the bills took place following the press conference. The news conference was well attended with about 100 supporters and about a half dozen TV, print and online journalists covering the event. View a press release from the event here.
At the news conference in downtown Lansing at the Lansing Fire Station No. 1 today, mayors, public school officials, county commissioners, local library leaders, and police and firefighters proposed a constitutional amendment that would assure that replacement PPT funds continue to go local communities and schools.
“Under the Senate bills, the Legislature and Governor would basically take hundreds of millions of local tax revenues from local communities and schools, and give future legislatures and governors new powers to keep the money or decide if any of the funds are ever returned to local communities and schools,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “If the PPT is going to be cut, local taxpayers deserve a legal guarantee, a constitutional amendment, that the funds are going to be replaced and returned to local services and not kept by the Legislature to spend on state programs and services.”
Speaking at the event were Lansing Mayor Virgil Bernero, League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin, Hamtramck Mayor and League President Karen Majewski, Kent County Intermediate School District Superintendent Kevin Konarska, Jon Campbell, Allegan County Commissioner, Michigan Association of Counties Director, Christine Berro, Director, Portage District Library and past president of the Michigan Library Association, Lansing and East Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro, Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union, Howell Police Chief George Basar, Legislative Chairman and a Past President of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and Mitch Bean, former Director of the state House Fiscal Agency.
Michigan officials speaking during a news conference about the personal property tax from left are George Basar, Randy Talifarro, Christine Berro, Jon Campbell, Kevin Konarska, Karen Majewski, Dan Gilmartin, Virg Bernero and Mitch Bean.
League CEO Dan Gilmartin addresses the media about the personal property tax April 18, 2012, in Lansing.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and [email protected].