The Michigan Association of County Veterans Counselors (MACVC) will be the host organization for the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers (NACVSO) conference in Grand Rapids. The conference will take place June 8th-June 13th 2014at the Amway Grand Hotel and Conference Center. Approximately 400 county veterans’ benefits counselors from across the nation will attend the event. Accreditation training and testing from NACVSO will be available at this conference for those county veterans benefits counselors who are paid county employees who work at least 1000 hours per year.  An appropriation from the Michigan Legislature will cover most of the cost of attendance for county veteran’s benefits counselors in Michigan. If a county veterans benefits counselor would like information on attending the conference, please contact MACVC President, Garth Wootten as soon as possible. Mr. Wootten can be contacted by e-mail at wootteng@oakgov.com or by phone at (248) 858-0785
The National Association of Counties (NACo) legislative conference was held this week in Washington D.C..  As part of this annual conference, MAC meets with our congressional delegation to talk about federal issues affecting counties.  This year the major topics for discussion included:
  • The Farm Bill and PILT Payments
  • Tax Exempt Municipal Bonds
  • Waters of the U.S. Guidance Proposal – Federal Overreach to Control Michigan Waters
  • Medicaid Expansion and Medicaid Coverage for Pre-Trial Detainees
  • Federal MAP-21 Transportation Funding and;
  • Marketplace Fairness (sales tax on e-commerce)
MAC would especially like to thank Senators Levin and Stabenow for their consistent dedication to meeting with all of our conference attendees each year to discuss issues of importance to counties.  This annual tradition affords our commissioners quality time to have questions answered and to relay upcoming issues of concern to Michigan counties.  If you would like more information about the issues MAC members discussed with their congressmen, please follow this link to our federal briefing sheet: 2014 MAC Federal Briefing Sheet
 
The Michigan Association of Counties (M.A.C.) would like to thank the Snyder administration and key legislators in the House and Senate for their new approach to personal property tax (PPT) reforms.  Today the House and Senate introduced legislation that will provide for 100% reimbursement to counties stemming from local revenue losses associated with the reform of PPT. The proposed legislation will make several clarifications to the law and amend the August ballot proposal language to increase budget stability for local communities and assist businesses in creating more jobs. “We are glad the administration recognizes the value counties provide to Michigan residents, and we are eager to partner with the legislature to spur economic growth by supporting this tax reform,” said M.A.C. Director of Governmental Affairs, Deena Bosworth. “Replacement of this local revenue source is key to providing good communities where businesses and residents can thrive.” These changes still require a vote of the people in the August primary, but retain the provision that if the ballot proposal does not pass, both the tax reform and the local reimbursement reform are repealed. M.A.C. looks forward to working with the legislature to ensure local communities are provided with stable revenue while continuing to support the growth of Michigan’s economy.
Antrim County Commissioner, Mike Crawford (left) preparing to speak about the PPT reform after Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (right)

Antrim County Commissioner, Mike Crawford (left) preparing to speak about the PPT reform after Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (right)

Antrim County Commissioner, Mike Crawford

Antrim County Commissioner, Mike Crawford

 
Today, the Michigan Senate allocated $100 million of surplus dollars toward winter road repairs. The additional funds will be distributed as $39.1 million to MDOT, $39.1 million to county road agencies and $21.8 million to municipalities. The Michigan Association of Counties (M.A.C.) would like to thank the Senate for allocating the extra funds for special winter road maintenance. The additional funding, which comes from the Roads and Risks Reserve Fund created for the current budget year, will help local governments and MDOT with the rapid deterioration of roads as a result of one of the coldest and snowiest winters in Michigan history. “We recognize that the damage to Michigan roads is going to be the worst in many years and while we still support a permanent increase in funding, we appreciate the Senate taking steps in the right direction,” said M.A.C. Deputy Director, Steve Currie. “This funding will go a long way in helping locals with the growing pothole problem, and we anticipate members of the House and the governor will realize the need as well.” The bill now heads to the House for approval.