League Victory! New Personal Property Tax Bills Reimburse 100% of PPT Revenues

PPT Press Conference

Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra (center) and Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly (left) speak at PPT press conference Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.

As the Michigan Legislature has considered eliminating personal property tax (PPT), the Michigan Municipal League’s message has been clear and consistent – 100% reimbursement of personal property tax revenue and a stable reimbursement mechanism that includes more than an appropriation. In new legislation expected to be introduced in the Senate today we have achieved both of those goals! View an mlive article about the news conference.

When the Legislature passed PPT reform in December of 2012, the League ultimately remained neutral due to a tie-bar of the entire package to the August 2014 ballot initiative. In the last 15 months we’ve been involved in detailed workgroups with all of the parties involved to work through the many issues with the package, both technical and substantive policy issues.

This morning (Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014), League staff and League members attended a news conference along with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley to announce the 10-bill package. Speaking on behalf of the League at the event were Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly, a member of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees, and Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra. Also attending the event were Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling attends PPT press conference Tuesday.

And League President Jacqueline Noonan, mayor of Utica, issued this statement about the announcement: “Hundreds of Michigan communities rely on the personal property tax as a regular revenue source to support essential services, such as police and fire protection, road maintenance and infrastructure improvements,” said Mayor Noonan. “From the very beginning of this effort, the League has maintained that reforming the PPT was a worthy public policy goal. But we’ve consistently sought 100-percent replacement of the PPT revenue. These bills do that. This is very good news for Michigan’s communities.”

In November, the Lt. Governor spoke to our board to discuss a proposal to ask for the League’s support on new bills and the August 2014 vote. The proposal included 100% reimbursement of ALL lost PPT revenue and eliminating the problematic local essential services assessment. It would be replaced with a statewide assessment administered by a new authority that does NOT have to go through the appropriations process. It is a significantly more stable reimbursement mechanism.

The League looks forward to supporting this legislation as it moves through the legislative process and supporting the August 2014 ballot proposal. Please contact your legislators and ask them to support this legislation. Reimbursing 100% of PPT revenue in a stable way has been our goal, and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to achieve it.

View more photos from today’s PPT press conference. View a League press release about the announcement.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at sharkins@mml.org

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