EVIP Continues to be Problematic for Communities, says League’s Samantha Harkins on MIRS Podcast

Samantha Harkins

The Michigan Municipal League’s Samantha Harkins was a guest today (Feb. 10, 2014) on the MIRSnews.com podcast and covered an array of topics including road funding, the importance of public transit, an update on the personal property tax issue and proposed changes Gov. Snyder wants to make to the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP). She even discusses Willie Wonka and the Eagles and Don Henley. This is a must listen for League members wanting to hear how the League is fighting for our communities in Lansing. Great job Samantha.

Her part starts around the 8:30 minute mark in the 20-minute weekly podcast. Listen here. Read more from Samantha Harkins and League staff on our legislative blog. Many of the topics Harkins discussed tie into the League’s placemaking message and how having vibrant communities will lead to having a better Michigan. Learn more about placemaking at placemaking.mml.org.

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

Urgent – Please contact Michigan Legislators today seeking support of increase to revenue sharing

UPDATE: The 4.8 percent increase is now included in the latest budget agreement so the sample letters to the lawmakers have been removed. Read more about this good news for Michigan communities.

Michigan Municipal League Board President David Lossing sent letters to state senators and representatives Tuesday (May 21, 2013) asking for their support of the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2014 general government budget recommendation, which includes a 4.8-percent increase in funding for statutory revenue sharing, now known as the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP).

The League is asking you to also contact your state lawmakers today on this extremely important issue. To make it convenient, you can use the League’s automated letter service by going here to our Action Center. It is imperative you contact your lawmakers today or tomorrow as we expect a vote on the budget this week or early next week.

While this Senate proposal does not come close to replacing the $6 billion in local revenue sharing cut by Lansing legislators and governors since 2001, it will at least help stop the bleeding and provide desperately needed funds for local police and fire protection, road and bridge maintenance, and other essential local services.

Here is an excerpt of the letter from League President Lossing, mayor of Linden:

As the state’s economy slumped over the past dozen years, past decisions made by the Michigan Legislature to cut local revenue sharing were used to make up for the difference in the state’s budget gap. Now that Michigan is on the rebound, this modest increase to statutory revenue sharing adopted by the Michigan State Senate is reasonable and begins the process of ending fiscal pain felt by many of our communities. Cities and villages across our great state, including the city of Linden, have been tightening our fiscal belts for several years to weather this financial storm.

Now is the time to begin making strategic investments in our communities by increasing statutory revenue sharing in the FY 2013-14 budget, to make “Better Communities, Better Michigan.”

View a version of the Senate letter here. View a version of the House letter here.

The League encourages all our members to contact their lawmakers today on this issue. Feel free to write your own letter and/or use the sample letter provided in our Action Center. You can go here to get the contact information for your state officials.

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