The following list of our top five priorities for 2014 represents many of the policy and funding issues MAC is pursuing, but in no way is an exhaustive list of the issues we advocate for on behalf of counties.
Full Funding for County Revenue Sharing:
Prevent Future Unfunded Mandates:
- Revenue sharing is a statutory obligation on behalf of the state, established in the 1960’s when counties gave up local taxing authority.
- Counties made an agreement with the state to forego revenue sharing to help balance the state’s budget with the understanding that full funding would return to each county once their reserve accounts were exhausted. This deal has only been honored once since 2005.
- MAC will advocate for full county revenue sharing.
Reform Tax Capture Statutes:
- In 2009, the Legislative Commission on Unfunded Mandates determined that more than $2.5 billion in services that can be measured, and billions more that cannot be measured, are provided by local units of government for free to the state of Michigan through unfunded mandates.
- There is little that can be done about past state violations of the Constitution, however legislation can and should be enacted that would require the state legislature to pay for any new mandates it imposes on counties before compliance would be required. Bills are SB 495 – 498 and HB 5059 – 5060.
- MAC is leading the charge to enact unfunded mandates legislation along with Senators Casperson, Robertson, Jansen and Meekhof. Representatives Kowall and Walsh are heading up the package in the House.
Closing the Big Box/Dark Store Tax Loophole
- Currently counties have limited say in the length and financial scope of tax capture districts.
- MAC is working with the House, Senate and the administration to ensure that counties have a voice in the economic development activities in their region by strengthening their voice in the tax capture and abatement process.
- MAC’s goals are to allow for counties to negotiate how much revenue is captured, to prevent the capture of special millages and to have a seat on the board of these districts.
Consistent and Reliable Transportation Funding
- Many big box retailers have been appealing their property tax assessments to the Michigan Tax Tribunal by challenging the “true cash value” of their properties.
- In the majority of the cases, the valuation methods being put forth equate the value of a vibrant, profitable operating business (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) with a closed, dark, and abandoned commercial property.
- MAC is working very closely with members of the House and Senate to find a fair, equitable and consistent way to value these properties so that each business actually pays their share of property taxes.
MAC supports increasing revenue to aid in repairing and improving the state’s ailing infrastructure. MAC’s preferred method of raising revenue is through a 1% increase in sales tax devoted strictly to infrastructure improvements and to be distributed by current PA 51 formula.
- Michigan’s roads and crumbling infrastructure costs us more money each year, stifles economic growth and is in part to blame for many traffic accidents.
Download Priorities here: MAC 2014 Priorites
Tags: counties, government, Michigan, Revenue Sharing
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