Manufacturers can celebrate as MMA drove pro-manufacturing legislative victories as the Legislature concluded its 2017 session on 12/13/17. These successes include:
- Removing barriers to Michigan’s Personal Property Tax exemption
- Ensuring imposter fraud protection for manufacturers
- Advancing Career and Technical Education programs
- Reducing unnecessary bureaucracy during tax disputes
Removing Barriers to Michigan’s Personal Property Tax Exemption
MMA is enhancing your Personal Property Tax (PPT) exemption by making it easier to claim your portion of the annual $576 million exemption. Too many companies were denied the ability to claim the exemption — at a huge cost to manufacturers — as the law did not allow local assessors to accept the postmarked date for timely delivery of exemption filings before the deadline.
Your Association pushed for legislative solutions to soften the hard deadline by allowing use of the postmark date and adding late filing options to the local boards of review and subsequently the tax tribunal.
Once signed into law, Senate Bills 570-573 will empower local boards of review to approve late applications and remove additional barriers for manufacturers seeking to claim their PPT exemption. Thanks to Senator Dave Hildenbrand for his leadership on this issue, as well as Senator Jack Brandenburg, Senator David Robertson and Senator John Proos for sponsoring this package.
Ensuring Imposter Fraud Protection for Manufacturers
Longstanding efforts to address dysfunction within the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) were approved with the passage of an eight-bill package designed to curb the proliferation of imposter claims, prevent UI fraud and improve the employer noncompliance determination process.
House Bills 5165-5172 will combat critical issues which have affected Michigan’s employer-financed unemployment system in recent years, including stronger efforts to mitigate identity theft, improvements to identity verification processes and a more clear and communicative process for reporting imposter claims.
The package also includes carefully negotiated reforms proposed by claimant advocates.
MMA thanks Representative Joe Graves and Representative Kevin Hertel for being solution-oriented on this priority issue. The bills now head to the Governor's desk for final approval.
Advancing Career and Technical Education Programs
MMA has worked closely with House leadership and the Snyder Administration to better connect employers with young talent. The passage of new Career and Technical Education (CTE) legislation will develop a strong and diverse talent system and prepare students for career success in manufacturing.
House Bills 5139-5142 and House Bill 5145 will:
- Create a model program to deliver age-appropriate career exploration and engagement with local employers from kindergarten through graduation
- Allow schools, employers and community colleges to have access to pupil directory information for the purposes of marketing educational and career opportunities
- Provide schools the opportunity to hire a non-certificated, non-endorsed instructor for a CTE program if the person has achieved private sector expertise in the field
- Ensure educators who spend time learning about private sector practices may apply that time as credit toward required continuing education and professional development
The bills now head to the Senate for review.
Reducing Unnecessary Bureaucracy during Tax Disputes
In an effort to reduce bureaucracy in tax disputes with the State Treasury, MMA pushed for common sense legislation to empower the State Treasurer to settle tax disputes before going to court. Currently, the Treasurer is not empowered by the statute to settle until a taxpayer has filed a case in court, even if there is good reason to settle, and the process becomes an inefficient use of administrative resources.
House Bill 4976 would amend the Revenue Act (1941 PA 122) to introduce a new, permissive manner for the Treasurer to settle a tax dispute raised by a company for any or all by submitting a written settlement offer to the other party.
By bringing common sense to the Treasury’s administrative process, it reduces the expense and administrative burden for both the state and manufacturers in avoiding the inherent cost of taking the judicial path.
Thanks go to State Treasurer Nick Khouri and his staff for their leadership and cooperation in developing this common sense solution and to House Tax Policy Chair Jim Tedder for sponsoring the bill.
The legislation now moves to the Governor's desk for final approval.
Go to the Michigan Legislature website to access any of the bills mentioned above and watch the Advocacy & Issues section of our website for updates.