For Immediate Release
May 8, 2012
Contact: Marty Fittante
State Senate to utilize videoconference for committee testimony on PILT legislation
LANSING, Mich.—The Senate Natural Resources, Great Lakes and Environment Committee will hear testimony on legislation regarding payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) on Thursday, May 10. Upper Peninsula (UP) residents will be able to participate in the committee via videoconference from Bay College West in Iron Mountain.
“Thursday’s committee affords another opportunity for UP residents to participate in the legislative process in Lansing on an issue that affects communities across the Upper Peninsula,” said Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Casperson.
“Townships and counties across the UP are being short changed on revenue due to the reductions in PILT payments and the large amount of publicly owned land in the UP,” Casperson, R-Escanaba, said. “While the public lands provide some valuable benefits, the increasing amount of land, which exceeds 50 percent of some townships and counties, impacts the services provided by local governments.”
Thursday’s committee will hear testimony on Senate Bills 1021 and 1022, sponsored by Casperson and Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart. The legislation would ensure that PILT payments are made on time and in full. The bills would also seek to increase PILT payments.
“The PILT payments made today to local units of government in the UP do not come close to the amount locals would receive if the land was privately owned,” said Casperson. “Through this legislation not only are we attempting to get local units of government closer to what they are due, but we also hope to educate legislators and department staff in Lansing about how adversely local units of government are impacted by so much public land ownership.”
Anyone is welcome to attend the committee meeting in Lansing or videoconference in Iron Mountain on Thursday.
The Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee is scheduled for Thursday, May 10, at 9 a.m. EST in room 210 of the Farnum Building in Lansing, with simultaneous videoconferencing at Bay College West, ITV Room 107, 2801 North US 2 in Iron Mountain at 8 a.m. CST.