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The Michigan Townships Association (MTA) announces its 2019-20 legislative priorities, following adoption of its policy platform by Association member township officials.

The MTA membership approved the Association’s platform on April 4 at the MTA Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with the MTA Annual Conference & Expo at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme Township (Grand Traverse Co.). These legislative priorities will guide MTA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of townships throughout the year.

“MTA’s leadership and staff look to our Legislative Policy Platform to set their priorities and provide them with direction as bills are introduced,” MTA Executive Director Larry Merrill said. “Lawmakers and the public can see where we stand on a variety of important issues. We look forward to working with the Legislature and state policymakers to accomplish these goals.”

MTA’s policy platform outlines specific objectives within six broad categories—assessment and taxation, elections, environment and land use, intergovernmental relations, township operations, and transportation. Among MTA’s top priorities are additional funding for primary and local roads and the fair valuation of “big box” stores. The Association will also work to preserve local authority on local zoning issues, while advocating for state laws that allow township officials to solve local issues rather than a state-imposed one-size-fits-all approach. Other priorities include increased funding for water, sewer and communications infrastructure, allowing townships to create special assessment districts for high-speed internet, and training requirements for township planning commissioners and zoning board of appeal members.

The full 2019-20 Policy Platform is available on MTA’s website.