Legislative Update 2-16-24

MAC Team attends NACo Annual Legislative Conference

The National Association of Counties (NACo) hosted its annual legislative conference earlier this week. Michigan was well represented at the conference with more than sixty commissioners in attendance, as well as several MAC staff members.

Several attendees had the opportunity to meet with their respective congressional representatives. MAC armed them with a list of federal priorities including restoring full mandatory funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, support for federal legislation to amend the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy to reinstate Medicaid benefits to county jail inmates prior to their release, and extending funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program so low-income households can continue accessing broadband at a reduced rate.

President Joe Biden made an appearance at the conference speaking to a general session on Monday. Biden spoke of America’s comeback from the pandemic era, both economically and emotionally. As a former county commissioner himself, Biden introduced the American Rescue Plan Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help counties navigate those unprecedented times. Biden highlighted new job opportunities with the return of semiconductor companies to America and a multibillion-dollar investment in broadband deployment.

With deadlines for U.S. Senators and Representatives to submit their earmark requests to appropriations committees, please be sure to inform your federal legislators of any earmark proposals as soon as possible.

The NACo legislative conference is always a great opportunity to swap ideas and learn from other states how they have tackled issues that Michigan is facing. It is a platform for learning more about federal programs and connecting with Michigan’s federal legislators. Please consider participating in 2025!

FY25 budget year is off to good start for counties, Podcast 83 team says

Counties would see significant investments in key needs under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fiscal 2025 state budget, MAC’s Podcast 83 team noted in a new episode.

However, new dollars for revenue sharing, juvenile justice and health care for some jail inmates still have to get through the legislative budget process, never a sure thing said team members.

Whitmer calls for $281.2 million for county revenue sharing, with increases set in a mix of unrestricted and restricted formats. If approved, this amount would represent a $26 million boost from the FY24 baseline amount.

Governmental Affairs Director Deena Bosworth cautioned that this amount is the starting point of budget talks. “We have to watch it through the entire process very, very closely,” she said.

The governor’s plan also did not reference the creation of a dedicated and secured Revenue Sharing Trust Fund, a MAC priority for 2024, but Bosworth said the progress made last year in the Legislature on that issue is a good sign for eventual passage.

“We’re starting to see some decent sized growth right now,” Bosworth said. “But we went back and looked at where county revenue sharing was in 2001. It was $228 million. This year, the recommendation, including the one-time funds as $281 million. If we just kept up with inflation (from 2001), we would be over $400 million for counties across the state.”

On the juvenile front, Samantha Gibson said, “We’ve discussed at length, especially on this podcast, the juvenile justice bed shortage crisis. In (this budget), we do see some significant funding suggestions to go towards resolving that bed shortage. There’s $38 million to kind of reconfigure how the (state) contracts with child caring institutions.”

Whitmer’s plans in the criminal justice sphere include a $30.5 million allotment to cover health services for jail inmates slated for release who would otherwise be eligible for federal Medicaid coverage. This amount would be in service of a state effort to get a so-called Section 1115 Re-entry Waiver from the federal government to relieve counties of health care costs they now bear due to the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy.

Reform of that policy is a MAC priority for 2024, Gibson noted.

MAC was also pleased to see a $15 million allotment for stormwater improvements, said Madeline Fata.

Whitmer also seeks a 1,289 percent increase in the tipping fees to place waste in landfills, moving it from 36 cents to $5 per ton. “Gov. (Rick) Snyder recommended something similar back in 2018,” Fata said, “and he wasn’t able to get it across the finish line. With that increase, it would bring us up to par with other Midwestern states, as Michigan is currently the lowest with tipping fees.

“It would then deter out-of-state dumping, which is a problem that Michigan faces,” Fata added. “MAC does support mechanisms to deter out-of-state waste. Ultimately (the proposed increase) would generate about $80 million annually.”

For more coverage of the FY25 budget plan, see MAC’s Legislative Update from Feb. 9.

View the full video of the episode, recorded on Feb. 8, by clicking here.

Previous episodes can be seen at MAC’s YouTube Channel.

And you always can find details about Podcast 83 on the MAC website.

2023 PPT Reimbursement Correction Process

The Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury) reminds municipalities that, although not required, they can correct errors in the 2023 Personal Property Tax (PPT) reimbursements distributed in October 2023 and February 2024.

The Local Community Stabilization Authority (LCSA) Act provides municipalities an opportunity to review the PPT reimbursement calculations and data used in the calculations to ensure accurate PPT reimbursement distributions. To determine if an error has occurred in the PPT reimbursement calculations or data used, the municipality must review the applicable reports on Treasury’s 2023 Personal Property Tax (PPT) Reimbursements website.

Links to the 2023 PPT reimbursement calculations and most common data used:

  1. School District & ISD – 2023 PPT Calculation by Millage – October 2023 and February 2024
  2. Other Municipalities – 2023 PPT Calculation by Millage – October 2023 and February 2024
  3. 2013 and 2023 Personal Property Taxable Values Reported in Calendar Year 2023
  4. 2013 and 2023 Personal Property Taxable Values of Renaissance Zones

When NO Errors Are Identified:

If a municipality does not identify an error, the municipality does not need to file a form or take any further action to notify Treasury. 

When Errors ARE Identified:

If a municipality does identify an error, the municipality will need to complete the appropriate correction form to notify Treasury of the error(s). In addition to the correction form(s), municipalities must provide substantiating documentation to support a correction. The correction forms (along with the associated deadlines) are available on Treasury’s Forms for Calculation of PPT Reimbursements website.

  1. Form 5651 – Correction of 2023 Personal Property Taxable Values Used for the 2023 Personal Property Tax Reimbursement Calculations
    1. Municipality submission deadline to County Equalization Director: February 28, 2024
    2. County Equalization Director submission deadline to Treasury: March 31, 2024
    3. Note: Per the LCSA Act, only the 2023 personal property taxable values may be corrected. The 2023 personal property taxable values must be the taxable value on May 10, 2023.
       
  2. Form 5654Correction of School Millage Rates or Other Errors for the 2023 Personal Property Tax Reimbursement Calculations
    1. Municipality submission deadline to Treasury: March 31, 2024
    2. Note: Only debt and hold harmless millage rates for school districts may be corrected at this time. The LCSA Act does not allow any other millage rate errors to be corrected after August 1, 2023.  
  1. Form 5658 – Modification of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Personal Property Taxable Values Used for the 2023 Personal Property Tax Reimbursement Calculations
    1. Municipality submission deadline to Treasury: March 31, 2024
    2. Note: Per the LCSA Act, the 2013, 2014, and 2015 personal property taxable values may only be modified because of a personal property reclassification or municipal boundary change.

The corrections reported on Form 5651, Form 5654, and Form 5658 will be used in the calculation of the May 2024 distribution of the 2023 PPT reimbursements.

Please direct any questions regarding the PPT reimbursement correction process to TreasORTAPPT@michigan.gov or 517-335-7484.

Webinar will review resources of new grants hub

Amid the unprecedented number of funding opportunities for local governments, there’s a critical need for communities to effectively track, plan and apply for grants. For many, navigating this process exceeds their capacity.

Enter MI Funding Hub: Your one-stop shop for finding and receiving support on grants.

Through support from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, MI Funding Hub will provide communities with resources to capitalize on state and federal funding opportunities. Launching this spring, the hub will include an online grant-tracking tool as well as technical assistance for communities to identify, plan, and apply for grants.

Join for an explanatory webinar on Feb. 29 at 10 a.m. to:

  • Learn more about MI Funding Hub and meet the partners behind this initiative 
  • Explore how you can take advantage of these resources 
  • Weigh in on what grant resources would help your community the most

Click here to register.

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