Welcome to my e-newsletter! I’m honored and humbled to serve as our community’s voice at the Capitol in Lansing. As we continue into the term, rest assured that the challenges families in our community and state are facing are at the top of my legislative priorities.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0152 or email at AmosONeal@house.mi.gov if we can help.
State Representative, 95th House District
In this issue:
Upcoming Community Conversation
Mark your calendars for our next community conversation on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. on Facebook Live. I will give a brief legislative update. Then, we will have a conversation about the broad range of local resources available within our community. Our special guest, the Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority, will also give a presentation on Military Cultural Competency.
We hope to save some time for Q&A, so come with questions for our guests. You can join us on Facebook Live by clicking here or searching @StateRepAmosONeal.
I hope to see you there!
Last week, I introduced one bill in a package of two that would help communities, counties and schools across our state that are struggling to fund essential services due to depressed property values. In Michigan, we rely heavily on property taxes to fund schools, counties and local governments. This works very well in communities, counties and school districts where land values are high, but is failing over two-thirds of our communities, counties and school districts where land values are low.
Under this program, counties, cities, townships, villages and school districts would receive matching grants to raise their millage revenue up to the statewide average in taxable value per capita. The legislation fills that gap between the revenue the local millage generates and the revenue that would be generated if the community’s tax base were the statewide average. The legislation is designed to start as a pilot where school districts, counties and local units of government can receive grant revenue toward two mills of property taxes they are levying that are dedicated to eligible purposes.
Roads and bridges cost about the same across the state, but the ability to pay for them varies greatly. How can we expect rural communities with depressed land values to levy taxes 50 times higher than our most affluent townships? This legislation would create a floor to ensure we are able to provide essential services at the local level in every school district, county and local unit of government across Michigan.
HB 5522 – Law Enforcement Supplemental
On Dec. 1, the House approved an appropriation supplemental bill to provide more than $300 million toward hiring initiatives, incentives and other programs to attract and retain police officers. Although this is great news, the bill lacked the ability to support other key areas, including funding for other first responders, such as our EMTs and firefighters. We need a multifaceted approach to change the conditions that lead people to commit crimes in the first place. That is why I offered an amendment to use $15 million in ARPA funds to combat violent crime. Sadly, this did not pass; however, this bill is a step in the right direction.