A proposal from state Rep. Aaron Miller allowing local recreational authority boards to spend more of their budgets on improving Michigan communities was recently approved by the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee.
House Bill 4408 changes audit requirements from annual to once every two years for authority boards that do not levy taxes.
“Some of these authorities spend nearly half their annual budget on audits to comply with the current requirement,” said Miller, of Sturgis. “That’s far too burdensome and it costs communities in the long run because that is money that could go to construction and improvements for local swimming pools, recreation centers, parks, trails, historic markers and other things. This plan offers some flexibility and allows more funds to be available to serve our local communities.”
On May 15, Miller was joined in testimony before the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee by Lindsay Oswald, who serves as St. Joseph County clerk and volunteer director for the River Country Recreational Authority, based in Three Rivers. Oswald commented 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 necessary to conduct them under the law as a government entity.
“This update cuts red tape requirements,” Miller said. “There are still safeguards in place that would require annual audits if there is evidence of fiscal irregularity or a misuse of funds. But overall, this bill is going to make sure we get the most out of every dollar in these budgets.”
HB 4408 moves to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.