Governor Vetos School Billboard Bill

After strong opposition from the League and working with partner organizations MTA, Scenic Michigan and Michigan Association of Planning, as well as direct member outreach, the Governor vetoed SB 953 today! This legislation would have amended the Highway Advertising Act to exempt private commercial uses from zoning when located on a school owned property .

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.

NLC Congressional City Conference

Join city leaders from across the country at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference as we advocate together for the priorities of cities. With new players on the Hill and in the White House, this year it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard on behalf of your community. Washington, D.C., March 11-15. Get the details.

Update – TIF Library Opt Out Package

After a full court press by the League, working with the Michigan Downtown Association and Michigan Townships Association, all day and in to the night, Senate Bills 619-624 were taken up for a vote by the House and passed in the wee hours of this morning. The Senate then concurred the bills after going in to session at 10:00 a.m. today.

Thank you to all who contacted your Representative and encouraged your colleagues to do the same! The package of bills is now headed to the Governor. We will be asking him to look at the negative impacts this legislation has on local economic development before he decides to sign or not to sign them in to law.

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.

Bill on Lead Action Level Notifications Sent to the Governor

HB 5120 would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to require the owner or operator of a public water supply to issue a public advisory within three business days after being notified that the lead action level had been exceeded, in situations in which administrative rules require public education regarding lead.
A water supplier would have to provide the public advisory in a form and manner designed
to fit the specific situation and be reasonably calculated to reach all people served by the public water supply. To reach all of those people, a supplier would have to use at least one of the following forms of communicating the advisory:
  • Appropriate broadcast media, such as radio and television.
  • Posting of the advisory in conspicuous locations throughout the area served by the public water supply.
  • Hand delivering the advisory to people served by the public water supply.
  • Another communication method approved in writing by the DEQ.

We anticipate the Governor will sign this legislation

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

Treasury Posts PPT Reimbursement Calculators

Following the recent distribution of Personal Property Tax reimbursement payments to municipalities, the Local Community Stabilization Authority sent the letter linked below to the League explaining the basis of these payments and providing a link to the Michigan Department of Treasury’s web page where Treasury has now provided access to reimbursement calculators to help municipalities understand the basis for these payments. treasury-lcsa-distrubution-letter

For communities with questions about last month’s payment, please review these calculators for additional detail:

Personal Property Tax Reimbursements

Beginning for calendar year 2016, the Local Community Stabilization Authority (LCSA) Act, 2014 Public Act 86, (MCL 123.1341 to 123.1362) requires personal property tax reimbursement for all operating and debt millages.

Personal Property Tax 2016 Reimbursement Presentation

Other Municipalities

Tax Increment Finance Authorities

Reimbursement Priority

The Local Community Stabilization Authority shall distribute reimbursements in the following order of priority:

  1. 100% reimbursement for:
    1. Local school district and intermediate school district (ISD) school debt loss in the current year and local school district sinking funding millage and public recreation and playground millage;
    2. ISD operating millage;
    3. School operating loss not reimbursed by the school aid fund;
    4. Millages used to fund essential services (police, fire, ambulance, and jails);
    5. Decline in the tax increment finance (TIF) plan captured value of commercial and industrial personal property; and
    6. 2015 small taxpayer exemption loss.
  2. Reimbursement for other millages are prorated and may be less than or more than 100%, depending on total calculated losses compared to available Local Community Stabilization Share (LCSS) revenue. The LCSS revenue is derived from the State Use Tax.

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

Urgent, Contact Your State Representative Today Opposing Senate Bills 579 and 619-624. TIF Library Opt Out Package

A seven-bill package, SB 579 and 619-624,  is on the House agenda for second reading tomorrow when they return to session. This legislation is one vote away from heading to the Governor’s desk. The package of bills allows separate millages for library purposes to opt-out of tax capture. The League is opposed to this legislation as it is (1) retroactive and (2) does not have a mechanism to address authorities with bonded indebtedness or other obligations using this capture for repayment.

This legislation is a slippery slope and ripe for amendments that could be offered tomorrow which would exclude capture of County millages, or even all special millages. This is also a piecemeal approach after all the time and effort put in to broader TIF reform work the League and a comprehensive set of stakeholders have worked on over the past year.

Contact your State Representative TODAY and urge them to oppose this package of bills. Encourage your municipal colleagues, community groups and business owners in your DDA or other TIF districts to do the same.

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.

 

 

Legislation Prevents Local Ordinances Regulating Drone Use

SB 992 was passed out of House Committee this week and action is expected on the House floor early next week. This legislation provides a regulatory framework for individuals to legally operate drones in Michigan. It also sets forth provisions that an individual operator must follow or be subject to criminal penalties. Finally the bill sets up a task-force to put forward additional policy recommendations on the use of drones in Michigan.

Unfortunately though this bill removes the ability for local units of government to adopt their own ordinances regulating drone usage within their community. We have had conversations with the sponsor and as a result were able to secure direct representation on the task-force to address usage at the local level, but could not come to an agreement on striking the preemption language.

Should you have concerns about local preemption of drones please reach out to your Representative to share those concerns.

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

House Shelves Plans for OPEB Reform During Lame Duck

During an early morning hearing today, the House Local Government committee deferred action on comprehensive retiree health care reform (OPEB) until next term.  The only bill in the original 13-bill package to see any further debate was House Bill 6075, a bill focused on reporting/transparency of retiree pension and health liabilities. This bill was reported from the committee and awaits action on the House floor.

The Michigan Municipal League has long cited the need to address the high cost of retirement health insurance while maintaining options for health care for municipal retirees. Although the League offered conceptual support for this proposal, the complexity of the issue makes it difficult to thoroughly consider during the lame duck environment.  For that reason, the League requested the House delay action on this proposal and allow for the opportunity to work with Gov. Rick Snyder, the incoming Legislature, and all of the relevant interest groups in the next term.

Over the course of the current legislative term, the League has pursued a comprehensive policy agenda aimed at reforming Michigan’s broken municipal finance system.  The agenda involves reform to cost drivers, restoration and diversity of revenue options, and the reviewing the structure of local government. Thoughtful OPEB reform remains an important component of the League’s municipal finance initiative, which we will continue to pursue in the new year.

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

Lame Duck Legislative Work Underway; Sign up for Inside 208 Updates!

subscribe-here-arrowThe Lame Duck session of the state Legislature is in full swing and there are a number of key issues potentially impacting your communities that the Michigan Municipal League is working on and watching. WE MAY NEED YOUR HELP over the next several days as the Legislature currently has session scheduled through Dec. 15.

For regular updates on what is happening, the League strongly encourages you to sign up to receive email alerts from our Legislative blog, Inside 208. Please go here and sign up in the “subscribe” box on the right side of the page by typing in your email address. This is a free service provided to League members and you will receive emails each time a new Inside 208 blog is posted about the latest Legislative activity happening in Lansing. As issues arise, the League will be posting regularly on Inside 208 and we may be asking you to contact your Legislators on various bills.

Currently, there are multiple pieces of legislation the League is following that could have both a positive and/or a negative impact on your communities.

Some of major issues we have blogged about so far include bills to reform Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) or retirement health care, changes to Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Authorities, a bill that limits local control on transportation network companies and taxis (think Uber and Lyft), new economic development tools, and potential energy reform.

Please help us by signing up to receive our Inside 208 blog emails during this quickly-moving, ever-changing Lame Duck legislative sessions.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and 734-669-6317.

House Passes Six Bill TIF Reform Package Yesterday

House bills 5851-5856 are headed to the Senate for consideration. The six bill package which severely hinders a Downtown Development Authority and other TIF authorities ability to capture special millages was voted out of the House yesterday afternoon.

Language in this package defining what a new special millage is considered is vague. As the language is currently written, it will be easy to qualify existing special millages as new to avoid TIF authorities from capturing dollars needed to cover existing debt and other obligations. The League will continue to work to have the language amended and post updates as we have information to report.

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.