Check out these key votes made by lawmakers during the 2015-16 Michigan Legislature, and go to www.votespotter.com to sign up and see how the people who represent you voted on these and other issues that impact your daily life.
Senate Bill 616, Exempt developers of “Pyramid” building from sales tax: Passed 21 to 15 in the Senate on December 3, 2015, and 61 to 45 in the House on December 15
To exempt business equipment purchases made by an internet data center from the state sales tax. The bill originally applied only to the developers of proposed data center in the vacant “Pyramid” building near Grand Rapids, but was expanded to all companies in this particular business.
Senate Bill 556, Extend “commercial rehabilitation” tax breaks for developers: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on November 4, 2015 and 87 to 19 in the House on December 2
To extend for another five years a “commercial rehabilitation act” that authorizes property tax breaks for owners of rehab projects involving commercial property selected by local government officials. The law was originally created with the developer of a moribund Oakland County mall in mind, and has been used to give these indirect subsidies to other developers as well.
House Bill 4990, Expand local government energy vendor financing schemes: Passed 102 to 4 in the House on December 8, 2015 and 34 to 0 in the Senate on May 3, 2016
To expand the things cities can spend money on under a scheme that lets them contract with vendors for energy efficiency projects to be paid for with money the projects are supposed to save (or from taxes if savings don’t appear). The bill would allow vendor installment contract duration of up to 20 years, expand the contracts to include information technology, include “lease-purchase” deals in the scheme and more.
House Bill 4226, Expand technology business subsidies: Passed 79 to 30 in the House on June 3, 2015 and the Senate 33 to 4 in the Senate on June 18
To increase from three to nine the number of areas in which “certified technology parks” (previously dubbed "smart zones") are allowed to expand by creating a "satellite" zone. These provide infrastructure and other subsidies to technology-based businesses.
House Bill 4122, Repeal film producer subsidies: Passed 24 to 13 in the Senate on June 18, 2015 and 63 to 46 in the House on the same day
To repeal the program that gives Michigan tax dollars to film producers as of October, 2016. Since 2008 some $500 million in state tax revenue has been distributed to producers.