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Legislative agendas

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:49 PM

Although the eggs were scrambled, the news was mostly sunny-side up at the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event.

Keynote speakers Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and State Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, led the group through updates and proposed changes at the state level — including the nuts and bolts of Proposal 1, which would completely change funding sources for local government if voters concur on Aug. 5.

Currently, businesses pay taxes on their equipment and other personal property. If Proposal 1 is approved, instead of businesses paying taxes to local governments for such items, the state would replace the revenue stream with money generated by the use tax, which has been generating funds from remote purchases, telecom and lodging expenditures since 1937.

Proposal 1 does not affect individual taxes, Calley noted, and does not raise taxes. The change in tax structure would be a boon for business and municipalities, he said.

Calley noted that personal property income has decreased 3 percent since 1999.

When several local leaders asked for assurance, Calley said the revenue stream would be guaranteed, because the state would sign over the title to the use tax money. State lawmakers would have no appropriations power over the funds and, therefore, no ability to change the structure.

Price also touched on several other timely bills she and fellow legislators are working on — including a public notice bill, which would tier and potentially change the requirements local governments currently have to publish notices in a local newspaper. Some have suggested relaxing those standards so that some items could instead be posted online.

Price noted that different areas of the state have varied access to Internet.

“It's very difficult to craft a policy for an area like this, the northwest Upper Peninsula and Detroit,” she said. “We're still working on it.”

Speaking of Detroit, Calley said the Motor City is starting to fire on all cylinders again.

Read the complete story in Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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