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Opinion: Republicans attacking local governments, schools

The Republican-led Legislature is again planning an attack on our local governments, our school districts and our state's public safety. And they're doing it with the best interest of big corporations in mind by doing away with the Personal Property Tax (PPT).

The PPT essentially taxes businesses on things they use — the computers, machinery, vehicles and office equipment. In an economy heavily reliant on manufacturing, which uses expensive equipment, this tax provides local governments a guaranteed source of revenue that the state cannot touch.

This money is not filtered through the state and cannot be raided by the administration as the School Aid Fund was — for $900 million — to support a tax break for the same big businesses they are catering to again.

The simple fact remains that when Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Speaker Jase Bolger eliminate the PPT, local governments would be out $783.7 million in steady revenue. This not only spells disaster for our local school districts but also threatens cities' ability to provide the public safety services by forcing the layoffs of firefighters, police officers and EMTs.

Gov. Rick Snyder, Richardville and Bolger want to eliminate millions of dollars from local budgets, but how are they going to replace these funds? The answer to that came from the Senate majority leader when he suggested that cities and towns should consolidate services, that some local units of government could simply be erased and that our towns could be weaned off of this revenue.

"I think we're going to have to step back and take a look and say maybe we don't need quite as many cities, quite as many villages and quite as many townships — at least not in the same structure as they are today," said Richardville.

I will not support elimination of the PPT when the Legislature has broken promises and raided the funds going to local governments in favor of corporations. And I will not allow for the Republicans to simply suggest that we leave our cities with the bare bone essentials.

Just look at Flint. We will receive yet another devastating blow with the elimination of this PPT. We stand to lose $4 million, a 22.5 percent reduction in guaranteed revenue. This is on top of the already $4.5 million that Flint schools have lost as a result of the raid on School Aid Fund by the Republicans. In a time where our city is still feeling the devastating effects of the recession, I cannot support our city losing even more funds. Flint has adjusted to persevere in these tough times, but the Republicans are positioning our city for destitution.

Stanley represents part of Flint. Call him toll-free at (888) 966-3034 or e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

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