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.

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.

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 jrigterink@mml.org 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 chackbarth@mml.org.

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.

Personal Property Tax Implementation Process Continues to Evolve

A series of bills amending the new personal property tax reform effort were signed by the Governor this month.  House Bills 5525-5527, 5545, and 5176 were all signed with immediate effect over the past two weeks.

The bulk of this package of bills arose from Treasury’s initial experience, early this year, with the first phase-out of Eligible Manufacturing Personal Property certification filings. As Treasury worked with the assessing and business communities, they discovered numerous concerns with the structure of the forms, filing deadlines, and process for dealing with corrections or amendments to those filings.  The main result in these bills was an agreement to allow a 2016-only extension of the EMPP filing window for businesses until May 31st of this year.  The bills also included amendments to address the state and local process for handling any additional filings and/or corrections that occur as a result of those filings.

While HB 5176 was originally requested by the League to address a technical concern with the distribution formula for revenue that is set to be sent to the 300+ cities that received a reimbursement check last fall for their small taxpayers exemption losses from 2014 and 2015, the extension of the filing window for EMPP also necessitated a short delay in the reimbursement schedule from PPT losses from October 20th, 2016 until November 20, 2016.  This delay will only impact the 2016 reimbursement payment timing.  Treasury has been awaiting the statutory correction to the formula so that they could distribute approximately $3.5 million additional dollars to those cities eligible for reimbursement of those small taxpayer exemption losses.  Reimbursement checks from this $3.5 million fund should be distributed before the end of this month.

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

Committee Approves Dark Store Fix – Contact Your Legislator!

Underutilized Mall in Wyoming (2) dark storesThe House Tax Policy committee today reported House Bill 5578 with a bi-partisan 11-2 vote.  Following multiple committee hearings spanning the past six months, today’s positive committee vote had been anticipated, based upon the amount of work done by the sponsor and local government advocates.

As the committee vice-chair, Rep. Dave Maturen was able to draw upon his extensive appraisal background to educate the members of the committee on the dark store problem and develop the language in the proposal, in conjunction with help from the League and numerous local government organizations and officials.

The language in HB 5578 provides very simple guidance to the Michigan Tax Tribunal that aligns directly with the existing, accepted methods of valuation that all assessors are trained to follow. This proactive acknowledgement of the three standard methods of valuation, coupled with language that restricts the Tribunal from accepting self-imposed deed restrictions as a true sales comparison are designed to restore balance to the decisions of the Tribunal and ensure that these decisions are based on the best data available.

We need your help to ensure that this bill will be voted on by the full House! The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Retailers Association are aggressively opposing this bill and contacting Representatives and Senators in an attempt to block further action on the bill. They claim that the only problem is uneducated local assessors who are over-assessing these large retailers.

Their direct message to legislators is; “Local governments are trying to legitimize their over-assessments and lack of persuasive evidence before the MTT by making scapegoats out of job providers who have successfully challenged their over-assessments and the MTT.”  Your involvement and personal contact with your Representative and Senator are the only way to counteract these attacks and ensure that this critical legislation moves before the Legislature recesses for the summer.  Please contact your State Representative and Senator today to urge their support for HB 5578!

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

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


Local Infrastructure Report Released by National League of Cities

The National League of Cities released a new report Paying for Local Infrastructure in a New Era of Federalism. Declining funding, increasing mandates and misaligned priorities at the federal and states levels have put responsibility for infrastructure on local governments. But what ability do cities have to take up this call? The authority of cities to meaningfully address growing infrastructure challenges is bound by levers authorized to them by their states. The report finds that cities are limited in the number and scope of tools they are authorized to use, and that access to these tools is highly uneven in states across the country.

Summer Minnick is the Director of External Relations and Federal Affairs. She can be reached at 517-908-0301 or sminnick@mml.org.