MDOT to Offer Free Rural Task Force Training

On behalf of the Rural Task Force Oversight Board and the Education Subcommittee, MDOT is pleased to bring you a free, one-day Rural Task Force training event.  The training will be held in four locations throughout the state.  Also, if you have any specific questions you would like addressed or any issues or concerns you would like included in the presentation, please submit them through this Survey Monkey Link:

The dates and locations are as follows:

  • October 18:  Gaylord, University Center, 80 Livingston Blvd, Gaylord 49735
  • October 20:  Marquette, Holiday Inn, 1951 US 41 West, Marquette 49855
  • October 24:  Lansing, Horatio Earl Training Center, 7575 Crowner Dr., Dimondale, MI 48821
  • October 26:  Flint, Flint Mass Transit Administration and Training Facility, 1401 South Dort Highway, Flint 48503


A block of rooms at state rates have been reserved the night before for each location.  You will need to contact the hotel and make your own reservation.  The block of rooms will be available up to one month prior to the training.  Specific information for each is listed below:

  • Gaylord: Baymont Inn, 510 S Wisconsin Ave, Gaylord, MI 49735 Phone: (989) 731-6331. Use Group ID# 1017RT
  • Marquette, Holiday Inn, 1951 US 41 West, Marquette 49855, (906) 225-1351. Let them know you are with MDOT Rural Task Force training
  • Lansing, SpringHill Suite, 111 South Marketplace Boulevard, Lansing 48917, (517) 627-0002. Use this link:  Book your group rate for MDOT Rural Task Force Training
  • Flint, Holiday Inn Express, 1150 Robert T. Longway, Flint 48503, (810) 238-7744. Use Group:  MDT


Please click on the following links for the Registration Form and Agenda

You should fill out one form per person.  Space may be limited based on the locations.  We will fill the space by first come first serve with priority given to the public sector.  We may need to limit participation to only one person per agency.  Continental breakfast, coffee and lunch will be provided.

There will also be an opportunity to participate in the Lansing session via webinar.  If you are interested please check the webinar line on the registration form and make sure to include your email address.  Information for joining the webinar will be provided in a later email.

If you have any questions, please contact Andy Brush ( or Betsy Simon (

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

Beach Safety & Emergency Equipment Guidance

Michigan has in excess of 2,100 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, which contain more than 100 public beaches. When conditions are right the Great Lakes can have waves and currents of incredible force. Unfortunately, hazardous water currents on the Great Lakes account for may drowning deaths each year. Rip currents, other dangerous currents and unsafe wave conditions can occur along many beaches around the state.

In recent years, there’s been an important focus to make the public aware of the danger involving unsafe water currents as well as providing additional safety and rescue equipment at public beaches, but concerns have been raised about liability.  Many local units of government have expressed trepidation about potential liability regarding the placement of safety and rescue equipment on their public swimming beaches.  However, Michigan governmental agencies are generally immune from liability in connection with beach safety.  Still, it is nonetheless important for communities to take every measure they can to protect public safety.

Communities looking to establish or update their beach safety guidelines, policies and plans have numerous resources to refer to for review. For example, in May, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources updated their Designated Beach Policy. To view the policy click the link provided MDNR POLICY 3. 6 DESIGNATED BEACHES 05-05-16 (002). A few local community examples are provided in the links below.

Any local unit of government having specific questions should discuss this matter with their legal counsel.

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

Municipal Officials Run For State House

Last week’s statewide primary election has narrowed the field for the 110 state House races that will be on the ballot this November.  All told, 42 of the 110 (27 GOP and 15 DEM) seats in the Michigan House will have new representation next year, most due to term limits.  The House is currently divided 63-45 with two vacancies.  In 11 of those 42 open seats, candidates with strong city or village roots were able to secure their party’s nomination. We are encouraged by this level of involvement from local officials and excited for the opportunity to work with those candidates that are successful this fall.

Primary election results and upcoming ballot information can be found through the Michigan Voter Information Center and the Michigan Secretary of State’s website.

The summer recess for the House and Senate continues through the end of this month, with legislative session for both chambers scheduled to resume in the first part of September.  Following the currently scheduled September session dates, they are scheduled to recess for the campaign season, returning for a potential “lame duck” session that begins, following the election, on November 9th.

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

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, 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,4676,7-238-43535_72736-358296–,00.html.

Please direct any questions regarding the completion of this form to 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

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 and use the block code “MDA.”

For questions or more information on this event visit, or contact the MDA at 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 or 517-908-0305.

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 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

Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act Sunset Extension Approved

Following Senate approval earlier this year, the House today overwhelmingly passed SB 673, a bill to extend the sunset of the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act from December of this year until the end of 2026. This act has been used in communities across the state to assist in the redevelopment of obsolete buildings and putting properties back in to productive use.

Thank you Senator Horn for continuing to be an advocate on this issue and keeping a valuable local tool that assists our communities in redevelopment and economic development.

The legislation now goes to the Governor for his signature.

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

Additional 2014-2015 PPT Reimbursement Funds Released

The Local Community Stabilization Authority (LCSA) announced the release of nearly $3.5 million of additional PPT reimbursements today.  In October of 2015, 214 cities received over $15.7 million as reimbursement for operating losses due to the small taxpayer exemption from 2014 and 2015.  Following a law change (HB 5176 – PA 124’16) to make a technical correction to the distribution formula, an additional $3.46 million is set to be distributed to those same eligible cities.  Checks are set to be mailed today, June 2nd, 2016.  The official notice from the LCSA can be read here – LCSA PPT Notice.June2016

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

Dark Stores Assessment Issue: Time is of the Essence, Contact Lawmakers this Weekend!

Please contact your state Representatives TODAY and leave a message asking for their support of HB 5578, which is the legislative fix to the Dark Stores assessment issue negatively affecting many of our communities. This is an extremely important issue that is already hurting many communities and will likely be impacting your community soon. Use our Action Center to get your Representatives contact information and send them a sample letter that we’ve drafted.

As you may have read, Michigan communities have momentum on this issue thanks to a Court of Appeals ruling Friday that validates the case against the Dark Stores property valuation method. Some people in the state Legislature view this court ruling as a reason for them not to take action on HB 5578. But that is not the case. The court ruling is good news but HB 5578 is still needed because it affirms the decision by the Court of Appeals and sets clear guidelines for the Michigan Tax Tribunal, where this issue originated.

The sponsor of this bill Rep. Dave Maturen has 26 co-sponsors from both parties and it passed out of the House Tax Policy committee in an 11-2 vote.

Please tell your Representatives to take up and vote in support of HB 5578 this week in the State House.

For further information about the bill and the previous committee testimony, please review these Inside 208 articles – “Committee Approves Dark Store Fix – Contact Your Legislator”, “New Dark Stores Solution…”  and “Michigan Municipal League Members Testify…”.  Or visit the League’s Dark Stores Information Page.