A pair of House Republican legislators have introduced bills to help low-income seniors in Midland and Gladwin Counties stay in their homes while still funding the restoration of the Sanford, Secord, Smallwood and Edenville dams.
The new plan will re-establish Michigan’s Special Assessment District Tax Deferral program for individuals 65 years or older with incomes of $29,619 or less. The legislation will reduce the financial burden for seniors across Mid-Michigan who would struggle to pay the special assessments district tax on their homesteads being used to rebuild collapsed dams in their communities.
“This legislation will help ensure we rebuild the dams, bring back the lakes while also making sure we protect those seniors living paycheck to paycheck in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis in Michigan,” said Schuette, of Midland. “This reform reinstates a law that existed until 2020, recognizes today’s harsh economic climate and continues to remedy the heartbreaking disaster we saw unfold across our area.”
Under this legislation, the state covers the costs of special assessment taxes up until the property is sold or changes hands and will apply to all special assessment taxes across the state of Michigan. These reforms will allow low-income seniors to keep their homes while still funding the critical infrastructure projects special assessment taxes are used to build.
The water system is being restored after catastrophic structural dam failures led to Sandford Lake and Wixom Lakes disappearing in May 2020. The ensuing floods from the failed dams caused roughly $175 million in damages to over 2,000 structures in Midland County.
“This is a practical plan that understands and respects the many challenges seniors living on fixed incomes are facing,” said Hoadley, of Au Gres. “It’s not their fault that this happened. They shouldn’t be penalized for it.”
The proposals are contained within House Bills 5419-20.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Reps. Bill G. Schuette (right) and Mike Hoadley introduce House Bills 5419-20 at the state Capitol in Lansing on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
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