Posts Tagged ‘counties’

The Michigan Association of Counties (M.A.C.) presented Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Washtenaw County) and Representative Wayne Schmidt (R-Grand Traverse County) with the M.A.C. County Advocate Award at the 2014 M.A.C. Legislative Conference in Lansing. This award is given annually to legislators who have shown strong support for county interests. Senator Warren was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2006 where she served for four years representing the 53rd District. Now in her first term as State Senator, Warren was recognized as a county advocate for her participation on the Michigan Mental Health Commission and her recent sponsorship of the Personal Property Tax legislation. “M.A.C. is an important voice for our local communities. I am honored to have been named a M.A.C. Advocate for my work in the Legislature, as I firmly believe that strengthening our local communities is integral to moving our state forward,” said Warren. Representative Schmidt was elected to the House in 2008 and is now in his third term representing District 104. Having previously served as a Grand Traverse County commissioner for five terms, Schmidt was recognized for his work to resolve the infrastructure funding crisis, and his consistency in working to help county government. “I am truly honored to be recognized by M.A.C. with this award for the work I’ve done on behalf of northern Michigan,” said Representative Wayne Schmidt. “My experience with local government as both a Grand Traverse County commissioner and small businessman offered firsthand knowledge of what it takes to run an effective and efficient county, and I have been proud to work with M.A.C. as a state legislator to solve the issues that our counties face.” “M.A.C. thanks Senator Warren and Representative Schmidt for their continued support,” said M.A.C. Board of Directors President Shelly Pinkelman. “A continued partnership between local and state government is essential for the success of Michigan.”
Posted by Kyle Leppek on March 5th, 2014 If awarded, $99,000 grant would use digital marketing LAKE CO. — Next month, county officials hope to hear that they have be awarded a nearly $100,000 grant to market Lake County as an off-road vehicle tourist destination. On Feb. 28 a grant application was submitted by the Lake County Board of Commissioners to the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development seeking a $99,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant. If the county is awarded the grant in April, the money will be used to brand the county as an ORV tourist destination through mostly digital media. The approximately 400 page application included assistance from the Michigan Association of Counties, county prosecutor and his staff, county clerk and her staff, county treasurer and her staff, local businesses and board of commissioners. It even involved finding the public act that formed Lake County in 1871 from the state archives. HISTORY: Pictured is part of the original public act that formed Lake County in 1871. It was included in the county’s grant application and had to be retrieved from the state archives. (Courtesy photo) “It was a real team effort in terms of everybody that helped kick in to get this done,” said Commissioner Dan Sloan. Originally, the county was seeking a $100,000 grant, but that changed after the applicants realized they would score higher on the application if the amount requested was less than $100,000. Lake County’s application also is expected to score higher because of some of the challenges residents face. “The fact that we are a county that has a lot of challenges in terms of a high poverty rate and high unemployment rate, and those are chronic, those give us greater scores than other counties,” Sloan said. “They enhance our chances of getting assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.” If the county is awarded the grant, implementing its proposal would be a two year process. The county would use the money to establish a website, for video and photography production, create digital and print ads and other Internet related marketing. The first year would likely be spent getting everything up and running, while the following year would be a fully operational marketing campaign. While the county would be the fiduciary, a committee consisting of county government officials and business owners would be formed to oversee the program. The hope is if residents like the program that they will continue to support it after the grant period. Included in the application we letters from more than 30 Lake County businesses which employ more than 200 people supporting the grant. While the grant is specifically aimed toward ORV tourism, Sloan sees it helping a broad range of businesses throughout the county. “If we can get more people in the county, we know that it is going to help our businesses; they will stop and spend some dollars,” Sloan said.
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

 
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