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Kingsford studies tax law

December 18, 2012
The Daily News


News Editor

KINGSFORD - City officials are continuing to review the impact of legislation that repeals Michigan's industrial personal property tax.

"We really don't quite know where this is going yet," Kingsford City Manager Tony Edlebeck said at Monday's city council meeting.

The Legislature voted late last week to repeal the tax over the next decade. Local governments will be reimbursed for some - but not all - of their lost revenue through a complicated formula that many local officials have yet to fully assess.

In general, the state would reimburse 80 percent of losses for services such as police and fire protection. Local governments could levy special assessments to recoup the rest.

Also, voters could cancel the tax repeal during a 2014 referendum by rejecting a plan to divert a portion of the use tax to local governments.

The Michigan Municipal League, which took a neutral position on the legislation, was holding an online session today to better explain the implications, Edlebeck said.

Supporters say the repeal will expand the tax base for local governments through additional business investments.

Opponents, meanwhile, called for 100-percent guaranteed replacement revenue and urged the Legislature to wait until 2013 to take action. Statewide, the personal property tax represents about $590 million a year in government revenues. It generates nearly $1.3 million a year in Dickinson County, including about $230,000 for Kingsford, according to a recent estimate.

In other action Monday, the Kingsford council:

- Agreed to seek proposals from foresters on the possible harvest of timber from 40 acres of city property near Nocerini Road. The property was acquired by the city decades ago for potential water exploration and now serves as a wellhead buffer.

- Accepted the low bid of $15,950 from J. H. Zawada Supply and Lumber Co. of Niagara, Wis., to replace five overhead doors on a storage building east of city hall, provided it meets specifications.

- Accepted a bid of $211 from George Hardy of Kingsford on the sale of a used 1985 dump box. There were no other bidders. Also, no bids were received on the sale of a surplus 2005 Chevrolet Impala, which will temporarily be stored, Edlebeck said.

- Authorized Edlebeck and City Attorney Bruce Brouillette to represent the city in the Michigan Department of Transportation's request for an additional easement at the southwest corner of Breitung Avenue and Carpenter Avenue. MDOT plans to make improvements at the intersection in 2013, Edelbeck said.

- Reappointed Dale Baldwin to the Citizens Advisory Committee and noted one upcoming vacancy on the panel.

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