The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) is an alliance of Michigan counties working to enhance county government through advocacy, shared services and education.
Founded on Feb. 1, 1898, MAC is the only statewide organization dedicated to the representation of all county commissioners in Michigan. MAC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advances education, communication and cooperation among county government officials in Michigan. MAC is the counties’ voice at the state and federal level, providing legislative support on key issues affecting counties.
NEW: Oakland County's Taub becomes president of MAC for 2016-17 term
Shelley Taub, an Oakland County commissioner and former state representative, was sworn in as the new president of MAC during the 2016 Annual Conference, held Sept. 16-18 at Boyne Mountain.
Taub was given the oath by her son, Adam, at a Saturday plenary session. She then addressed the assembled commissioners about the importance of collective approaches to problem-solving. Taub will lead MAC's 16-member Board of Directors, until MAC's 2017 Annual Conference in September.
NEW: Bay's Begick, Oakland's Crawford win seats on MAC Board of Directors
Vaughn Begick of Bay County (right) and Hugh Crawford of Oakland County (left) were elected to the MAC Board of Directors during elections held Sept. 17 at the 2016 Annual Conference.
Begick was elected to serve a three-year term for MAC's Region 6, which covers the counties of Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Cheboygan, Crawford, Gladwin, Gratiot, Iosco, Midland, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Saginaw. He replaces Shelly Pinkelman of Crawford County, who was term-limited.
Crawford was elected as an at-large member of the board. He replaces fellow Oakland Commissioner Michael Spisz, who chose not to seek a second term on the MAC board.
Also on Sept. 17, board members Robert Showers of Clinton County and Matthew Bierlein of Tuscola County were elected to second terms.
MAC joins local government groups in calling for Senate to pass 'Dark Stores' bill
Writing in the Sept. 11 edition of the Detroit News, MAC Executive Director Tim McGuire and his counterparts at the Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Townships Association called on the Senate to join the House in reforming the operations of the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
"Michigan has a problem. Its process to value property for taxation is broken, and this defect has diverted at least $100 million away from local public services since 2013.The state and its taxpayers deserve a better system, a fairer system, a more transparent system.That’s why we, and others, support passage of House Bill 5578, a prudent, reasonable reform of how the Michigan Tax Tribunal works," they wrote.
See the full letter at the Detroit News.
Bipartisan House vote advances ‘Dark Stores’ reform
A large, bipartisan House majority today approved House Bill 5578, which would reform Michigan’s property tax system to ensure fair and equitable treatment of property values.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dave Maturen (R-Kalamazoo County), cleared the House 97-11 after proponents detailed the need for reform in wake of recent Michigan Tax Tribunal decisions relying on the faulty “Dark Stores” valuation technique.
Read the full statement.
Court ruling validates arguments to end 'Dark Stores' property tax loophole, local governments say
LANSING ― A Michigan Court of Appeals ruling against a Big Box retailer in the Upper Peninsula validates the case against the "Dark Stores" property valuation method, and the need for an immediate legislative fix to the problem, representatives of local government associations said (May 27).
In Menard, Inc. v. City of Escanaba, a three-judge panel said the Michigan Tax Tribunal made an error of law in accepting a Dark Stores-style appeal by Menards and cutting the retailer's value by more than half from the original assessment.
The decision is a significant victory for local governments that have argued against the Dark Stores technique's artificial lowering of property values around the state. It also validates the reforms embodied in House Bill 5578, sponsored by Rep. Dave Maturen (R-Kalamazoo County), now before the Michigan House of Representatives.
"This is a huge step forward for fairness in tax law," said MAC Deputy Director Steve Currie. "The court made note that using just the sales approach is insufficient, that deed restrictions have to be considered in how a property is valued and that there is an 'anti-competitive' nature to deed restrictions being used in an inappropriate fashion."
Federal court permanently enjoins Secretary of State from enforcing gag order law
LANSING, MICH. — U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara has accepted an agreement between the Secretary of State's office and local governments and school groups, permanently enjoining Secretary of State Ruth Johnson from enforcing a law passed in December that prevented local officials from providing factual information on local ballot proposals.
O'Meara's order, entered today (April 28), references his previous temporary injunction against enforcement of the law, saying that the local governments had "demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that (the law) is unconstitutionally vague and thus void."
The gag order was part of a larger campaign finance bill that passed the Legislature with little debate in the final days of last year's legislative session and was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, becoming Public Act 269 of 2015.
"County commissioners and other local leaders will be pleased to know they can continue to inform their constituents about ballot issues in the same fashion that they have done for years," said Matthew Bierlein, a plaintiff in the lawsuit,a Tuscola County commissioner and second vice president of the MAC Board of Directors. "Now that this dispute is behind us, everyone can turn their attention back to cooperatively addressing Michigan's challenges."
See the full news release.
MI County Matters website, campaign launched to educate public, policy-makers on central role of county government
A new website and campaign to help inform the public and policy-makers about the central role county services play in daily life was unveiled April 20 before an audience of state and local leaders at the Michigan State Capitol.
MI County Matters pairs quick summaries of county responsibilities with large databases on county activities to give the public a complete picture of what county leaders do on their behalf, explained Timothy K. McGuire, executive director of the Michigan Association of Counties.
“MI County Matters was conceived as a response to an ongoing challenge for MAC and our members: How to quickly and clearly explain the importance of county government to Michigan residents’ daily lives,” McGuire said to open the briefing in the ornate Speaker’s Library at the Capitol.