Posts Tagged ‘PPT’

ssc Writing a letter to the local newspaper is an excellent way to show your support for Michigan Citizens for Strong and Safe Communities. Letters to the editor attract a significant reading audience, particularly if the letters are timely and informative. Letters can be submitted to the editor via email or by using your local newspaper’s online submission form. Writing a letter to the editor Generally, letters to the editor should not exceed 150 words. Given the brevity of a letter to the editor, it’s wise to keep it tightly focused. Letters should be written to reach a broad cross-section of the community. Be emphatic in making your point – but be civil! How to submit a letter
  1. Pick up a copy of your local newspaper or go to your local newspaper’s website and look for the “Opinion” or “Op-Ed” section, where letters are typically printed.
  2. Look for other letters to the editor – typically, there will be an email address (in the print edition) or a link to an online form (on a newspaper website) to submit a letter to the editor. Make sure to look for any special guidelines the newspaper you’re submitting to might have (e.g. a special word count).
  3. If you have any questions, call your local newspaper and ask for the opinion editor – or contact the campaign communications team at Truscott Rossman at
NOTE: Please make sure to include a working phone number (preferably a cell phone) with your submitted letter. Most newspapers will call you just to confirm you actually submitted a letter prior to publication. Here are a few sample letters for your use: Sample Letters to the Editor
By the time this article goes to print the newer version of personal property tax (PPT) reform should be on the governor’s desk for his signature.  After decades of debate and multiple approaches to eliminate this complicated and cumbersome tax, local governments and businesses alike have agreed on an approach to reform and lessen the tax on small businesses and industrial manufacturing businesses in Michigan and ease the administrative burden for all involved. This reform represents significant tax relief for small businesses and industrial manufacturing businesses, 100% reimbursement to local units and a structural reimbursement method that avoids the unreliable appropriations process. The first round of reform was signed into law in December 2012 and would have provided reimbursement to local governments at a rate of 80%, with the local option of an essential services tax to increase that level of reimbursement for losses associated with police, fire, ambulance and jail services.  Although this was the best offer from the state at the time, local governments, including counties, were not happy with the overall level of reimbursement and the local assessment approach. So the administration went back to the drawing board and came up with additional funding and a plan to eliminate the local assessment piece.  The major components of the new approach include a statewide essential services tax collected by the state, 100% reimbursement to local units, voter approval of a diversion of the state’s use tax, and a delayed dynamic reimbursement formula aimed at recognizing the movement of industry throughout the state. Reimbursement to local units Under the new plan, all local units of government will receive 100% reimbursement for losses associated with this reform beginning in 2016.  The losses to counties for the small parcel exemptions already enacted will not be reimbursed in 2014 or 2015, but will start once the larger exemptions go into effect in 2016.   Expiring business tax credits beginning in 2016 will create available funds in the state’s general fund to pay for this reimbursement.  These credits, along with the enactment of the State Essential Services Assessment will cover most of the cost of the reimbursement to locals.  But even with utilizing all of these funds, the state will still face a shortfall in the general fund of approximately $126 million in 2022. Priority Reimbursements Because of the deals struck in 2012 and the basic structure of the reimbursement formulas, priority reimbursements for certain losses (static formula) will be taken off the top before the calculations for the dynamic formula go into play.  The dynamic formula is explained in detail below. Priority reimbursements include: small parcel losses (a major benefit to those units with lots of smaller businesses), school debt loss, losses to intermediate school districts, school district losses not reimbursed by increased payments from the School Aid Fund, losses associated with essential services (police, fire, ambulance and jails), and debt loss to tax capture authorities.  Once these items in the static formula are paid out, local units will receive 100% reimbursement for the rest of their losses until the dynamic formula kicks in, beginning in 2020. Dynamic Formula Beginning in 2020, and increasing by the same amount each year, 5% of the remaining reimbursement, after the priority reimbursement, will be distributed proportionately based on each local unit’s share of the exempt manufacturing personal property.   This dynamic formula will recognize a “profit sharing” type scenario that is intended to recognize the movement of industry throughout the state while still providing support for struggling counties that are losing industry.  This represents virtually the same situation as if local units were still taxing the property at a local level.  If a local unit has a certain amount of personal property in 2013, they may have more or less than that amount in 2025.  If we only received reimbursement based on what was on the ground in a local unit in 2013, reimbursement would not be based on loss, but for what existed in one point in time. The Ballot and How Counties Can Help In August 2014, voters will be asked to approve a ballot proposal that would divide up the state’s use tax into two different pots of money, the “state share tax” and the “local community stabilization share tax.”  A certain amount of money will be diverted from the state’s general fund to the “Local Community Stabilization Authority” that is charged with reimbursing local units for their losses associated with PPT.  This authority will be required to reimburse based on the formulas enacted via this legislative package. If the bills pass as planned with all of the reimbursement formulas intact, the MAC board has voted to support the ballot proposal in August.  The MAC board made this decision in part because the administration found a way to provide a stable and enhanced level of funding reimbursements to counties.   In addition, they are well aware of the potential effects of leaving an important and unresolved issue hanging out there during a lame duck session.  Anything can happen.  During the last lame duck session, we were almost faced with the complete elimination of PPT with no reimbursement plan at all.  If the ballot proposal passes in August, all of the reforms and the reimbursement formulas go into effect.  If the measure fails at the ballot, then the reforms and reimbursement do not go into effect and we are back at the drawing board.  Although it is a complicated ballot question, the intention is simple; divert money from the general fund for the authority to reimburse locals.  The general electorate may or may not understand the issue, so it is incumbent upon the supporters of the measure to educate their constituents.  Short of a constitutional amendment, this approach is the best alternative we have to an annual appropriations battle. UPDATE: Governor Signs PPT bills 3-28-14 The bills amending the Personal Property Tax (PPT) reform package were signed into law today by Governor Snyder.  SB 821 – 830 amend various acts to create a better reimbursement formula for local units of government should the electorate pass the ballot proposal this August.  Counties, cities, townships, school districts, law enforcement and the business community were all present for the ceremonial bill signing this afternoon.  See previous articles and the monthly newsletter for all the details on the reform or call MAC for more information. IMG_8405
HB 6022, 6024, 6025, 6026, and SB 1065-1071 Personal Property Tax (PPT) On the last day of the lame duck session, Lt. Governor Calley and MAC reached an agreement on the PPT package of bills that would tie bar the entire PPT repeal to the passage of the use tax vote in 2014. This move, along with the inclusion of jails in the essential services assessment and the movement of the minimum threshold for 80% reimbursement from the state, brought MAC to a neutral position on the bills. Although the package is not perfect, the Lt. Governor and the House and Senate have agreed to keep working throughout the next legislative session to address any unanswered questions and unfinished issues. This package represents a significant improvement over all other options on the table. It has been our goal to achieve the most comprehensive and reliable replacement revenue source for our counties. The other option on the table was complete elimination of new personal property tax for new purchases starting Jan. 1, 2013 without any reimbursement plan. This would have left counties at a negotiating disadvantage with little incentive for the other interest groups to negotiate reimbursement proposals. All counties in Michigan will be eligible to assess an essential services assessment and 63 of Michigan’s counties will be eligible for reimbursement from the diversion of the state’s use tax. SB 1021 and 1022, HB 5367 Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILT) SB 1021 and SB 1022, sponsored by Sens. Casperson (R-Delta County) and Booher (R-Osceola County) respectively, are on their way to the Governor for a signature. The bills increase state payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) obligations to counties according to inflation. In addition, they would allow counties to apply fees and penalties against the state if PILT payments are late or are not fully paid. In all, the bills would increase PILT payments to local units of government by about $9.7 million. MAC thanks Sens. Casperson and Booher, along with Rep. Frank Foster (R-Emmet County), the Governor, and all of the Northern Senators and Representatives for their hard work on this issue. Additionally, HB 5367, sponsored by Representative Chuck Moss (R-Oakland County), is on its way to the Governor for a signature. The bill provides supplemental appropriations in the amount of $2.6 million to fully fund the state’s PILT obligation for the current year. Special thanks to Representative Moss, Senators Casperson and Booher, and the Governor for getting this done for counties.
PPT is headed to the House floor for a vote this morning, with a new proposal from house republicans that would exempt all new personal property from January 1, 2013, on, with no reimbursement.  This would mean a virtual phase-out, with NO reimbursement to local governments. This is an URGENT call to action.  Please call your state representative to slow this down and not rush this through lame duck. Click here to find contact information for your legislators. You can reference the Legislative Update from 12-7-12 for more details on the current PPT proposal, on MAC’s website under “resources” then “publications”.
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