Rep. Miller: Community improvement funds should fund improvements, not audits

Categories: Miller News,News

Legislation cutting unnecessary red tape advances via House vote

A proposal from state Rep. Aaron Miller allowing local recreational authority boards to spend more of their budgets on improving Michigan communities today was unanimously approved in a state House vote.

House Bill 4408 changes audit requirements from annual to once every two years for authority boards that do not levy taxes.

“In some cases, authorities will spend nearly half their annual budgets on audits to be in compliance with current law,” said Miller, of Sturgis. “But current law is far too burdensome and it takes too much money away from real projects that can deliver a better quality of life for residents in communities while building a stronger Michigan.”

Miller was joined in testimony before the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee on May 15 by Lindsay Oswald, who serves as St. Joseph County clerk and volunteer director for the River Country Recreational Authority, based in Three Rivers. Oswald reported that past budgets for the authority have been eaten up by audits – including a year where the organization had just one transaction – but that it was mandatory to conduct audits under the law as a government entity.

Miller explained his change would still keep proper safeguards in place to head off instances of fiscal irregularity or misuse of funds.

“We need to make sure we get the most out of every dollar in these budgets and because of the red tape in place, we aren’t right now,” Miller said.

HB 4408 advances to the Senate for further consideration.