Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

The House Commerce Committee took testimony Wednesday on House Bill 5856 that would revamp state law on downtown development authorities — revamp, but not reform, argued MAC’s Deena Bosworth to committee members. According to the MIRS News Service (paywall protected) Bosworth “… said the bill ‘falls far short of what we consider real reform.’ “Bosworth argued the continued idea that TIF districts can capture county tax dollars without any say from the counties is ‘fundamentally unfair.’
Bosworth

Bosworth

“‘The proponents of downtown development authorities anywhere and everywhere across the state will tell you that that increased revenue would not be there if wasn’t for their efforts,’ Bosworth told the committee. ‘I happen to disagree.’ “Bosworth used the example of a Home Depot being built outside a true downtown through a DDA. Westland apparently used its DDA dollars to build a city hall, she said. “‘County revenue for municipal infrastructure projects, I don’t think that was the intention,’ Bosworth said. “Over the last 10 years, Oakland County has had $70 million in tax revenue captured. “‘Oakland County wants to have a say in how long they’re there, what projects are done and what county revenue is being captured for what purposes,’ Bosworth said. “Bosworth also told the committee that MAC had been promised ‘significant reforms.'”

calculator imageThe Legislature’s refusal to fund new investments in infrastructure has cost Michigan taxpayers more than $270 million since June 12 of this year, says a coalition committed to road funding reform.

The Just Fix the Roads Coalition unveiled a calculator widget that shows how much inaction has cost residents.

“’As each day passes, that figure climbs by $2.7 million, or $1 billion per year. Faced with that cost of delay, Michigan’s legislators must find a way to invest at least $2 billion more annually on roads, or the public will continue to bear the brunt of their inaction. As legislators continue to put off road funding, the cost of repairs will escalate even further. It is a major funding dilemma that will only get worse over time,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, a member of the coalition, along with MAC and many others.

In a guest commentary Sept. 5 on MLive.com, MAC’s incoming president, Allegan County Commissioner Jon Campbell, issues an alert to Michigan residents about the court funding crisis created by the Cunningham ruling: “Legislators will have a full agenda in September; however, a permanent, stable, fair fix to court funding has to be at the top of the list.” The chart below shows the annual projected impact of the ruling, if it is not changed, for several counties across the state that responded to a MAC survey. court cost chart*Circuit court costs only    
Trunkline conditions chart 9-2-14Why is MAC pushing so hard to get the Legislature to provide a statewide vote on a 1-cent sales tax for transportation? Take a look at the chart above, particularly the dotted portion of the green line. Trunkline roads are transportation speak for main roads. These are the roadways that carry our commerce, our schoolchildren, our work force and our emergency vehicles. If your main roads are bad, expect life to be harder all the way around. And while the vast majority of Michigan’s trunkline roads are deemed in good shape today, the trend is ominous indeed, according to the state Transportation Department. By the end of this decade, fewer than half of such roads would be in good or fair shape, if additional resources are not found. County and local road officials can work as hard as they can and be as clever as possible to stretch a dollar to fix local roads, but that work will mean much less if the major roads aren’t maintained. The MAC Board of Directors, aware of these trends, voted at the beginning of the year to have MAC staffers make the case for a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax – a penny for the roads – to generate vital new dollars. See more about the importance and condition of Michigan roads at http://milocalroads.com/ .
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