Open conservancies or pay tax, Casperson says

By YANJIE WANG
Capital News Service
LANSING — Nonprofit organizations that safeguard land and habitat in Southeast Michigan are worried about a proposal that could tax their preserves. A proposal by Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, would require land conservancies to pay property taxes if they restrict access to the public, including access for motorized and non-motorized vehicles. In the draft bill, motorized recreational activities could be limited to designated trails, however. The idea creates concern among people who are responsible for managing land conservancies. Leo Dorr, the treasurer of the Lapeer Land Conservancy, said he is worried about negative effects on the work, conservation and ecology of his organization and properties.

Those state tax changes – Are they fair to young, old?

By XINJUAN DENG
Capital News Service
LANSING – Debates about taxes on pensions and the middle class continue to rage in the Capitol with different groups disputing their fairness. In the run-up to November’s House election, Democrats are attacking changes by the Republican-led Legislature that they say punish middle-class families, including a pension tax, reduced homestead property tax credit, reduced Earned Income Tax Credit and elimination of the $600 per child deduction. But Gov. Rick Snyder said, “It is important to leave retirement pensions as they are for our citizens age 67 and older. We are able to move forward with a revised plan that still adheres to the principles I laid out with my budget and tax initiatives, will create jobs and protect the safety net for Michigan families.”
And Ari Adler, press secretary to House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said the Republicans are trying to reset the system to achieve fairness. “That’s why there are no pension exemptions until age 67,” Adler said.

Residents pay up on day of love

By Alyssa Firth and Molly Cassidy
Meridian Times staff writers

Feb. 14 is a day to express love and send out Valentines, but Meridian Township would like its Valentine’s Day love expressed in the form of a check. Due twice a year, residents and business owners across Michigan pay taxes towards a variety of services in their communities such as libraries, K-12 schools and community colleges, roads, transportation systems and public services.  

“Last year, 94 percent of our taxes were paid on time and in full,” Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie said. “Sixty-five percent of people have paid as of today (Feb.