Courts imageVoters in Michigan’s Aug. 5 primary soundly endorsed a proposal to replace the Personal Property Tax now imposed on business equipment across the state. Proposal 1, a statutory change backed by the Michigan Association of Counties and others to replace the PPT with a formula-based system of state funding, was winning 69 percent of the statewide vote in unofficial results, as of Aug. 6. “Obviously, we are pleased by Tuesday’s results,” said Steve Currie, MAC deputy director. “Proposal 1 reflected a carefully designed compromise to protect vital funding for county services, while allowing the Legislature to lift the burden of the PPT off Michigan’s small businesses. The voters, aided by a consistent and strong campaign that MAC supported, saw the need to protect funding for the local services they rely on each day.” Deena Bosworth, MAC director of governmental affairs, sees Proposal 1’s success not as a stopping point, but a springboard to additional reforms this fall. “Now with the PPT issue completed, legislative attention can, and must, turn to a variety of other issues of highly pressing importance to county government,” she explained. “This fall, for example, we will be pushing for the Legislature to enact a fix to the Cunningham case ruling that stripped our local courts of vital revenues produced by fees in convictions. We have forged another impressive coalition of interests to advance this fix and have received a highly favorable initial response from key legislators. “In addition, we will be doing a major educational push for legislators on the growing problem of tax increment financing, or ‘tax capture,’ districts redirecting property taxes from basic local services to special projects that are often quite speculative,” she added. For more on MAC’s legislative strategy for the fall and 2015, be sure to review MAC’s weekly Legislative Updates and keep coming back to our website for all manner of county news, events and tips.
courtesy/Macomb County

courtesy/Macomb County

An array of county commissioners found favor with the voters in their bids to become members of the next Michigan Legislature. Among notable races tracked by MAC: 19th House District: Laura Cox of Wayne County won the Republican nomination easily and will face Stacey Dogonski in the general election. 38th House District: Kathy Crawford of Oakland County won the Republican nomination and will face Jason Catanzaro in the fall. 44th House District: Jim Runestad of Oakland County won the GOP nod in a closely watched race and will face Mark Venie in the fall. 56th House District: Jason Sheppard of Monroe County won the Republican nomination and will face Tom Redmond in the general. 61st House District: Brandt Iden of Kalamazoo County won the Republican nomination and will face John Fisher in the general election. 62nd House District: Terris Todd of Calhoun County won a squeaker for the Democratic nomination and will face John Bizon in the general. 63rd House District: Dave Maturen of Kalamazoo County won the Republican nod in this district that spreads across Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties. 104th House District: Larry Inman of Grand Traverse County emerged with a narrow victory from an eight-candidate GOP field to advance to the general election.

The day after the primary, the MIRS News Service in Lansing was reporting that 80 percent of new local tax proposals passed, and 99 percent of requests that were renewals were approved.Vote image

Among the notable county results on new millages reported by MIRS:

  • Road levies were approved in Alcona, Arenac, Ionia, Keweenaw and St. Joseph counties.
  • Correction: Cheboygan County also approved its road levy, 2,892 to 2,197.
  • Emergency services levies were approved in Alger, Alpena, Cass, Iosco, Mason, Midland, Oceana, Osceola, Oscoda and Van Buren counties.
  • Senior services millages were approved in Allegan, Kent, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Presque Isle and Shiawassee counties.
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