Legislative Update 2-19-21

Broadband equipment property tax exemption passes the Senate 

SB 46, sponsored by Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Van Buren) is a bill that will exempt eligible high speed broadband equipment installed after December 31, 2020 from property taxes if that equipment resolves a lack of broadband service and can deliver at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and three Mbps upstream for internet service. The bill passed the Senate this week on a party line vote. MAC remains committed to finding solutions that will expand broadband to unserved and underserved areas, but oppose legislation that exempts property from property taxes without full reimbursement of those funds from the State. We all recognize Michigan’s digital data infrastructure is not adequate for the needs of all residents. The question is: How do we resolves the access issue, so every resident can have the opportunity to prosper regardless of their geographical location? MAC disagrees with the assumption that a broad-based property tax exemption is the solution to the problem. The simple economics are that the providers are not building in rural areas because there are not enough customers to ensure a decent rate of return on the investment. The biggest hurdle to overcome is the cost of installation and the return on investment. Exempting property for the specific business classes may provide encouragement to investment, but it significantly strains the ability of local units of government to provide the services their residents need and deserve. 

For more information on this issue, please contact Deena Bosworth at bosworth@micounties.org

MDHHS director discusses vaccine progress with Podcast 83

Elizabeth Hertel, newly appointed director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, discussed Michigan’s vaccine distribution efforts and other COVID-19 work during a special edition of Podcast 83 on Feb. 16.
 
Hertel was named to lead the state’s largest department, with more than 14,000 employees, by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. She is currently awaiting confirmation by the Michigan Senate.
 
The Podcast 83 team will be taking a one-week break from its current weekly schedule, resuming live episodes on Monday, March 1.
 
To see any prior episode of Podcast 83, visit its webpage on the MAC website.

 

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