Got Blight? Money Available for Local Governments for Targeted Demolition

Got blight? Our friends at MSHDA asked that we share this with our member communities:

MSHDA 2016 Hardest Hit Blight Elimination NOFA

The Michigan Homeowner Assistance Non Profit Housing Corporation (MHA) working in conjunction with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) is seeking proposals in support of targeted demolition activity within local units of governments across Michigan with the goal of initiating or triggering private investment and development; supporting current investment and development; and to promote the increase in values of the surrounding areas. Proposals selected to participate in the Hardest Hit Blight Elimination Program will be funded by an award MHA received from the U.S. Department of Treasury. MHA and MSHDA are partners but separate entities.

For further information on MHA, contact Mary Townley on behalf of MHA at 517-373-6864 or townleym1@michigan.gov.

Governor Vetoes Bill Eliminating Local Cost Sharing with MDOT

On Friday morning the Governor vetoed SB 557. This bill would have eliminated the local cost sharing provision for cities over 25,000 on MDOT projects. The League and the bills sponsor, Senator Knollenberg, worked extremely hard to convince the Legislature that fixing this provision within Act 51 was vitally important to the impacted communities. Ultimately both chambers voted unanimously for its passage.

The League is extremely disappointed with the Governor’s decision to veto this legislation. At a time when our communities can’t even afford to maintain their own roads, the Governor has continued the broken model of forcing communities to shoulder the burden of archaic state policy. In his veto letter, please click the link to review SB 557 Veto Letter, the Governor mischaracterizes the negative impact of SB 557 and calls on the Legislature to enact a comprehensive rewrite of ACT 51 by the end of the year. While we support revising the formula, a full rewrite by the end of the year is very unlikely. We are continuing to work with the Senator to determine our next step to create a more fair and equitable road funding solution for all of our communities.

While the League does not agree with the Governor’s decision to veto this legislation, we are very appreciative of the efforts made by Senator Knollenberg who advocated vigorously on behalf our communities and all 146 members of the Legislature who voted in favor of this bill.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

MDOT Soliciting Applications for Local Safety Program Funds

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is pleased to announce the solicitation of new applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 general Local Safety Program. Federal funds for the general Local Safety Program are to be used for highway safety improvements on the local roadway system. All locally controlled roadways, regardless of National Functional Classification, are eligible for the Local Safety Program. The FY 2018 federal budget for this program is estimated at $6,000,000.

Local Agencies may submit more than one project application for consideration. Federal safety funds shall not exceed $600,000 per project or a maximum amount of $2,000,000 per Local Agency for the fiscal year. FY 2018 projects are to be developed and obligated between October 1, 2017 and August 25, 2018.

Applications are to be electronically submitted or postmarked by Friday, September 23, 2016. For more information please click the following link. FY 2018 HSIP Safety Program Call Letter

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

MI Treasury Provides New Essential Services Form for State PPT Calculation

Staff from Treasury this afternoon provided the following information and newly developed Form 5448 to calculate essential services as part of the implementation of the new Personal Property Tax reimbursement process.  The new Form 5448 can be viewed here – PPT Form 5448 FYE 12 % of Operating Millage Used to Fund Essential Services, or at the link to Treasury’s website below.  Responses are requested by July 15, 2016.

From Treasury/ORTA:

The Local Community Stabilization Authority Act (LCSA Act), 2014 Public Act 86, requires personal property tax distributions for all operating and debt millages.  The LCSA Act provides that the personal property distribution for millage(s) used entirely or in part to fund essential services (i.e. police, fire, ambulance, or jails) is calculated separately from millage used for other purposes.

To calculate the personal property distribution for essential services, the LCSA Act requires the Department of Treasury (Treasury) to calculate each municipality’s percentage of general operating millage used to fund the cost of essential services in the municipality’s fiscal year ending in 2012.  However, the law allows the municipality to perform the calculation by including the calculation in its comprehensive annual financial report for the municipality’s fiscal year ending in either 2014 or 2015, or by reporting the calculation in a manner prescribed by Treasury.  Therefore, Treasury has developed Form 5448 – FYE 2012 Percentage of General Operating Millage Used to Fund Essential Services (see attached) to assist municipalities with reporting the calculation.  The calculated percentage will be used to calculate each municipality’s Local Community Stabilization Share Revenue Essential Services Distribution in 2016 and for all future years.

Treasury is requesting that municipalities complete and return the Form 5448 by July 15, 2016.  The completed form can be submitted by email to TreasORTAPPT@michigan.gov, by fax to 517-335-3298, or by mail to:

Michigan Department of Treasury

Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis

PO Box 30722

Lansing, MI  48909

For those municipalities that do not submit a Form 5448, Treasury will perform the calculation based on the municipality’s audited financial report or F65 report for the fiscal year ending in 2012.

For detail regarding the calculation of the Local Community Stabilization Share Revenue Essential Services Distribution, visit Treasury’s website at http://www.michigan.gov/taxes/0,4676,7-238-43535_72736-358296–,00.html.

Please direct any questions regarding the completion of this form to TreasORTAPPT@michigan.gov or 517-373-2697.

Thank you.

Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis – Michigan Department of Treasury

 

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304and chackbarth@mml.org.

Michigan Downtown Association to hold Workshop August 19

The Michigan Downtown Association’s (MDA) summer workshop, “It’s Easy Being Green: Best Practices for Environmental Sustainability”, is taking place August 19 in Grand Haven at the Grand Haven Community Center.

MDA members and guests may reserve rooms at the Grand Haven Holiday Inn for Thursday 8/18/2016 for a special rate of $105.95. To reserve your room call 1-800-HOLIDAY, or call the front desk directly at 616-846-1000 and mention “MDA.” To reserve your room online visit www.higrandhaven.com and use the block code “MDA.”

For questions or more information on this event visit http://www.memberleap.com/members/evr/regmenu.php?orgcode=MDTA, or contact the MDA at info@michigandowntowns.com or by calling 248-838-9711.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Fiscal Year 2018 Federal High Risk Rural Roads Program Accepting Applications

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is pleased to announce the solicitation of applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 High Risk Rural Road (HRRR) program. The FY 2018 federal budget for this program is estimated to be $6,000,000.

Local agencies are allowed to submit more than one project for consideration. Federal safety funds shall not exceed $600,000 per project or a maximum amount of $2,000,000 per Local Agency for the fiscal year (including any selected FY 2018 HSIP projects). Any non-selected projects submitted under this HRRR call for projects will be automatically rolled over to the general FY 2018 HSIP safety call for projects. Selected HRRR projects are to be obligated in FY 2018; the Local Agency will not be allowed to delay a selected HRRR to a different fiscal year.

Applications are to by electronically submitted or postmarked by Friday, September 2, 2016. For more information please click here.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Bill Eliminating Local Cost Sharing with MDOT Sent to the Governor

Prior to the Legislature breaking for the summer the League was able to secure passage of a significant policy change to Michigan’s transportation funding formula.

Act 51 currently requires that all incorporated cities and villages with a population larger than 25,000 to pay a portion of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s project costs for opening, widening, and improving state trunkline highways within that incorporated city or village. A city or village is required to pay 12.5% of the project cost if their population is greater than 50,000, 11.25% of the project costs if their population is between 40,000 and 50,000, and 8.75% of the project costs if their population is between 25,000 and 40,000. This statute affects 45 cities in Michigan.

SB 557, sponsored by Senator Knollenberg, would eliminate the requirement for incorporated cities and villages greater than 25,000 to cover a portion of the Michigan Department of Transportation projects cost. As Michigan works to develop a 21st century transportation network the League believes these 45 cities should no longer be required to subsidize MDOT’s costs for the following reason:

  • All country road agencies and incorporated cities and villages with a population less than 25,000 are not required to pay a portion of MDOT’s project cost creating inequity in the system.
  • The funds used to pay for the cost of these projects comes directly from the 21.8% percent of funding received by cities and villages under Act 51. This results in less than 21.8% of Act 51 funding actually being used on local roads.
  • These matching funds can cost a local road agency a significant portion of their Act 51 funding.
  • Covering these project costs can delay, reduce, or eliminate future rehabilitation or reconstruction projects and significantly hinder a city’s ability to conduct routine maintenance such as snow plowing
  • MDOT’s planning process allocates state spending on projects based on the needs of their system without taking into account a city’s ability to contribute to the cost of those projects as required by Act 51. An unexpected bill from the Department could cripple a city’s local road program for years

This bill received unanimous support in both the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Legislation Impacting Speed Limits Passes the House

Prior to leaving for summer break the House passed five bills, HB 4423, 4424, 4425, 4426, and 4427, that would impact speed limits in Michigan

These bills when first introduce would have required that speed limits be set at the 85th percentile of speed. Fundamentally, we believe that all users of the roadway should be taken into account when setting a speed limit. Setting speeds strictly at the 85th percentile completely neglects taking the context of the roadway, the surrounding environment, pedestrian traffic (walking or biking), transit, or the views and needs of the community into account.

After months of negotiations with the sponsor all of the restrictive language was removed. The 85th percentile of speed still needs to be considered when setting speed limits but additional language was added to ensure that engineering and safety studies could be included as a way to adjust speeds for context.

Each community is best suited to understand local conditions that place children, the disabled, seniors and other vulnerable roadway users in harm’s way, and we support our communities efforts and ability to provide a safe and inviting environment. The League supports the changes to the legislation and we will be working hard in the Senate to maintain and preserve local control.

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Bill to Consolidate TIF Authorities Introduced

Legislation was introduced yesterday, SB 1026, to consolidate all tax increment financing authorities, excluding BRAs, in to one act. Each of the individual acts were incorporated in to the new structure without change. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Economic Development and International Investment.

A hearing was held this morning for Senate Policy staff to give an overview of the bill. No other testimony was taken. In addition to combining the TIF authorities under one act, this legislation focuses on reporting requirements and accountability for adhering to those requirements. It also outlines measures for transparency.

The sponsor said he is committed to working with stakeholders, including the League, over the summer to receive feedback on this bill. The League has been meeting with the sponsor and Senate staff over the last several months and will be heavily involved in discussions as the committee considers this legislation.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Dark Stores Fix Wins Approval in House!

The Michigan House passed the League-supported fix to the Dark Stores issue today by an amazing margin!  Receiving majority support from both Republicans and Democrats, the House voted 97-11 to move the proposed changes in House Bill 5578 over to the Senate.  This was a critical first step in the legislative process and provides an important boost to the ongoing prospects for the bill.

With the Legislature expected to begin their summer recess at some point this week, the League and other local government partners will be working to secure committee action in the Senate upon their expected September return to session.

The success of today’s vote would not have been possible without involvement from League members all around the state, so thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators these past few weeks!  Our fight is not over though.  Opponents of this bill are working hard to keep this legislation bottled up in the Senate.  Please take every opportunity this summer to talk directly with your State Senator about the importance of this legislation to your community and urge them to support HB 5578 and its swift consideration in the Senate.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304and chackbarth@mml.org.