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Update on Tax Bills Pending in the State Legislature - SB 34 and SB 618

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Ronald D. Richards Jr.
Foster Swift Municipal Law News
December 2011

Our October 2011 newsletter alerted you to SB 34, the one-sentence bill that would exempt personal property from tax collection, and its potential devastating effects on municipalities. There have been recent developments on SB 34 – and it’s good news for municipalities.

We have read multiple reports – including one from the Michigan Townships Association – noting that the Governor and Legislature have postponed the push to eliminate personal property taxes.

But watch out for SB 618: it is largely known for uncapping the number of charter schools. Yet if you keep reading you will see that it also expands tax exemptions in the School and General Property Tax Acts. In essence, SB 618 proposes to expand the existing property tax exemptions as it relates to charter schools. The expanded exemptions would exempt property occupied by a charter school, but owned by a non-exempt owner (such as a private individual or for-profit corporation). So SB 618 would reduce local property tax revenue.

Last month, SB 618 was referred to the Education committee. If you have questions about SB 34 or SB 618, please contact Ronald Richards at 517-371-8154.