LANSING, Michigan – Today (May 10, 2012), the Michigan Senate made significant changes to SBs 1065-1072, the package of bills which exempt significant portions of personal property taxes. The League participated in many negotiations with key Senate Republicans and other local government organizations on this issue in the past several days.
Late Wednesday they proposed making significant changes to the bills in exchange for a neutral position from the League, in order to signal good faith negotiations as the bills move over to the House.
The major changes include: Reimbursing locals immediately for all voter approved millages and indebtedness (rather than waiting until 2016) reducing the threshold for reimbursement from 2 percent of all governmental funds to 2 percent of general funds, and including a repealer provision that if future legislators do not fully fund the replacement fund, the bills are repealed. This means if the legislature does not fully fund locals according to the distribution in statute, the personal property tax comes back automatically without any legislative action.
After a discussion with the League Board, there was a consensus that this was a legitimate attempt by the Senate to address the League’s concerns regarding lack of assurances in the annual appropriations process. There are many issues we intend to continue working on in the House of Representatives, including increasing the level of reimbursement. Below you will find links to these bills as passed by the Senate.
The vote tally on SB 1072 bills was 22-15 with opposition from all Democrats and three Republicans – Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton Township, Sen. John Moolenaar of Midland and Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba. Sen. Mike Green (R-Mayville) was absent. The vote tally on all other bills was 23-14, with Senator Colbeck switching to support.
Read a Detroit Free Press article that nicely summarizes the issue.
Summer Minnick is the Director of State Affairs for the League. She can be recahed at (517) 908-0301 or [email protected]