By: Judy Allen, Michigan Townships Association Director of Government Relations:
The governor’s line-item veto eliminating statutorily required state payments in lieu of taxes to local governments is shocking—and harmful to Michigan communities, particularly in northern Michigan.
These payments are made to townships and counties in place of property taxes on state-owned property, and townships still must provide services to those lands—including fire protection and other emergency services. PILT funding is necessary to help offset this loss of tax revenue and the cost of these local services. While less than property taxes, the state should not be able to exempt itself from the required PILT payments.
With the new and challenging assessing reforms taking effect, the elimination of an additional $1 million in funding to train and prepare our assessors will also negatively impact townships’ ability to prepare for the statutory changes.
Other line-item cuts—such as secondary road patrols and local law enforcement training grants—also place additional burdens on Michigan’s communities and ultimately, their residents. MTA urges the Legislature and Gov. Whitmer to restore appropriations for PILT and other important local government funding.