State Rep. Brian BeGole is helping bring increased funding to townships, cities and villages across Shiawassee, Genesee and Saginaw counties.
BeGole today voted to advance House Bills 4274-75 from the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee. The critical statutory revenue sharing reforms will create more stability for local governments by creating a dedicated trust fund.
“Our communities are responsible for keeping residents safe, fixing local roads, cleaning up after severe storms, running waste removal services, providing recreation for families and many other things that help our areas be even better places to live and work,” said BeGole, of Antrim Township. “For many communities, there’s only so much funding to go around and that has led to difficult cuts that ultimately shortchange residents who count on these essential services.
“Not only will this fund provide more resources for our communities – but it will do it for all our communities instead of carveouts for select areas with big population centers. This is smart legislation, an efficient use of government resources, and a down payment on places we call home.”
Statutory revenue sharing has suffered over the years due to economic conditions, property value fluctuation and other year-to-year budgetary needs that ultimately draw away from what would be full funding for locals. This cause and effect has placed tremendous burdens on communities and counties when they’re faced with sustaining key programs or paying obligations.
The new Revenue Sharing Trust Fund would be structured in the same way as many existing trust funds provided through the state. The treasurer would invest funds without allowing any balance to lapse to the General Fund at the end of the year. The fund would also receive a dedicated revenue source by diverting a portion of sales tax money. Beginning on Oct. 1, 2024, the Department of Treasury would have to deposit at least 8 percent of a portion of money received and collected from the tax into the fund.
The bills would distribute fund money to eligible cities, villages and townships in the same proportions as current revenue sharing. With current sales tax and revenue sharing numbers, this would have amounted to an extra $317.8 million for cities, villages and townships across Michigan this year and an additional $277.3 million to counties had the trust fund been in place.
Cities, villages and townships currently not eligible to receive any revenue sharing payments would also have had access to a total statewide pool of $6 million through the trust fund, based on current numbers. This includes Argentine and Gaines townships in Genesee County; Antrim, Bennington, Burns, Fairfield, Hazelton, Middlebury, New Haven, Perry, Rush, Shiawassee, Venice and Vernon townships, along with Caledonia and Owosso charter townships in Shiawassee County; and Brady, Chesaning and Maple Grove townships in Saginaw County.
“I have seen projections that this new fund would provide over 150,000 additional dollars collectively to these townships in the 71st House District,” BeGole said. “This would go a long way for all of our communities, including ones in our region.”
HBs 4274-75 move to the House floor for consideration.
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