MLA Advocacy - May 26, 2016

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Libraries are Entitled to 100% Reimbursement of Millages Lost to the Personal Property Tax (PPT) Repeal

Many libraries are struggling to get answers about their Personal Property Tax millage reimbursement. The Michigan Department of Treasury, today, assured me there is enough funding in the Local Community Stabilization Authority to reimburse all millages at 100% including libraries. Yes, libraries will be reimbursed.

The state of Michigan is reimbursing municipalities and if the city, township or other municipality is your taxing authority, they are required to automatically reimburse the library. District libraries will be reimbursed directly. We are finding that a number of municipalities do not understand that libraries should be included in the efforts. In fact, some are under the impression that only essential services can be reimbursed. If your local governing authority staff are unaware, encourage them to contact the Michigan Department of Treasury.

It is important to note that the lowest millage rate levied between 2012 and 2015 will be the amount reimbursed to the library.

Librarians and MLA fought long and hard to get libraries included in the PPT reimbursement two years ago. We were able to get libraries included in PA 86 of 2014. It was part of a 10-bill package that provided for reimbursement to those entities being harmed by the elimination of the PPT. Senate Bill 821 took effect when proposal 14-1 State Use Tax – Ballot Issue passed in August of 2014.

Thank you to the many MLA members and our Governmental Consultant Services Inc. (GCSI) lobby team who advocated so fervently for libraries on this issue.

 

Legislators Head for Summer Break Soon

The Michigan legislature is in its final days of session before it adjourns for the summer break in early June. Since the entire House of Representatives is up for election this year, we can expect lawmakers to spend their summer campaigning or perhaps job hunting if term limits have put an end to their House career. 

Since campaigning will continue when they return to Lansing in the fall, anyone up for re-election will not be inclined to pass any controversial bills prior to November. During the lame duck session after election results are in, many state representatives will feel freer to take politically unpopular action since they have little fear of consequence. To refresh your memory, a lame duck, in politics, is an elected official whose successor has already been elected.

This fall Michigan will elect:

President/Vice President

U.S. Representative in Congress (all 14 districts)

State Representative (all 110 districts)

State Board of Education (2 seats)

University of Michigan Regents (2 seats)

Michigan State University Trustees (2 seats)

Wayne State University Governors (2 seats)

Justice of the Supreme Court

Judge of the Court of Appeals

Judge of the Circuit Court

Judge of the District Court

Judge of Probate

Specified County, City, Township and Village Offices

Specified School District Positions

In addition, a full dozen ballot proposals will be up in November as well. They cover a wide range of topics from Fracking to Earned Sick Time. Read about them here

 

Tax Tribunal and Big Box Store Legislation Moves to House

MLA continues its support of HB 5578 sponsored by Sen. Dave Maturen (R-Portage). The comprehensive bill addresses two of the major library concerns including the deed restriction and covenant issue from the big box stores as well as the problem determining a value that is credible and not speculative. The bill moved out of committee to the full House.

 

Federal Overtime Rule Takes Effect December 1: MLA Webinar Available Soon

Last week, the White House published the final overtime rule, which will increase the minimum salary for exempt employees by more than 100 percent. The rule, which will be effective December 1, will extend overtime eligibility to more than 4 million additional workers within the first year of implementation. It significantly increases the minimum salary level for “white collar” employees to qualify as exempt from overtime pay requirements.  Under the new rule, no employee who has a guaranteed salary of less than $47,476 will qualify as exempt under the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions. That’s more than double the current minimum salary level of $23,660 and only slightly lower than the Labor Department’s proposed $50,440. The rule will not affect hourly or other non-exempt workers, who already are eligible for overtime pay.

An MLA Webinar explaining the issue and covering ways to comply is coming soon.

 

 

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