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The ABCs of the FOIA

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MTA: Upper Peninsula Municipal Law Seminar
February 15, 2017

Please join us for this half-day program on February 15 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Marquette Hampton Inn. The program will cover the latest news on millage proposals, property tax appeals, the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act. Informational sessions will include take-away materials and ample time for questions from attendees.

Topics to be covered:  

The ABCs of the FOIA. This session will provide a detailed explanation of the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.  Among the topics discussed, we will address how to identify a FOIA request, response times, exemptions and other denials.  We will address the labor charges, mailing costs, and costs for the duplication and publication of documents.   We will also discuss how municipalities must handle documents available on the website. 

Avoiding OMA Mistakes. As public bodies, boards and councils must comply with the requirements of the Michigan Open Meetings Act.  This session will generally discuss the requirements of the OMA.  Topics include notice requirements, minutes, closed sessions and remedies for violations.  We will also address common OMA mistakes and how to avoid them.

Millage Proposals:  From the Ballot Question to the Ballot Box. With the decrease in property tax revenue, many communities are seeking to add new or renew expiring millages.  This session will focus on the legal requirements for municipal ballot proposals.  We will discuss what can be considered a “renewal,” what information must be included in the proposal and other issues involved with drafting the millage language.

Property Taxidermy:  How to Keep Your Head Together From January through July. The oldest Michigan tax has collected many nuances and wrinkles since 1893 and yet remains a strong reason supporting responsive and efficient local government.  This session will give local government officials, board of review members, assessors and others a primer of the tax process, insights into assessments, how to discuss taxes with constituents and how to handle valuation appeals responsibly.

​Who should attend:  ​Township, village, city library and other public officials including assessors

There is no charge for this event; however, we do ask that you RSVP to Chelsey White at cwhite@fosterswift.com or call 517-371-8125 to register so we have adequate materials available.