March 3rd Property tax town hall to help residents

Sen. Mike Green and State Rep. Joel Johnson are hosting a special town hall meeting to help local residents learn about how property taxes work and how to properly appeal assessments in Pinconning on March 3.

The meeting is Thursday, March 3, in the Boys and Girls Club Gymnasium in Pinconning, 201 North St., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The club will have activities available for school age children during the forum. Mark Avery, founder of overtaxedproperty.com, will be the guest speaker.

“Information is a powerful tool. Informed property owners can be confident they are meeting their obligations and protecting their rights and interests,” Green said.  “This town hall will provide a wealth of information to district residents to do just that, and I encourage everyone to attend.”

Publications on property tax assessment appeals are also available on Green’s official website, www.statesenatormikegreen.com, for those unable to attend. 

For more information about the town hall meeting, call Green toll free at 1-866-305-2131, or email senmgreen@senate.mi.gov

Sen. Green expands ‘online office’ website

LANSING – State Sen. Mike Green announced today the expansion of his official website to better serve the people of the 31st Senate District.

“I invite everyone in the 31st District to visit my online office,” said Green, R-Mayville. “The website has been designed to serve as a ‘one stop shop’ for my constituents and to give them the tools they need to stay informed and involved.”

The website, located at www.StateSenatorMikeGreen.com, includes useful links to state agency websites, state and federal tax forms, and informational publications on a variety of topics, such as taxpayer’s rights, consumer protections, crime victim information, services for senior citizens and educational publications for children.

Visitors to the site are also able to access tools that will help them research legislation, check legislator’s voting records and contact Green’s office with questions, concerns or ways to receive additional assistance.

“There is an abundance of information on the site and I’m proud to offer it,” Green said.

The 31st Senate District includes Arenac, Bay, Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties.
 

2011 Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Pure Michigan Hunt Applications Go on Sale March 1

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment reminds outdoor enthusiasts that the 2011 hunting and fishing licenses go on sale starting Tuesday, March 1. The licenses are good from the date of purchase through March 31, 2012, unless otherwise specified for restricted hunts. Persons who purchase four or more licenses at one time are eligible for a 15 percent discount. Prices have not changed from 2010 prices.

Anglers are not required to possess a 2011 fishing license until April 1, when the new season begins and new regulations take effect. Check the 2011 Michigan Fishing Guide for regulations changes. Anglers should be advised, however, that the daily creel limit for walleye on Lake Erie may change May 1.

Applications for the 2012 Pure Michigan Hunt, which allows those chosen to participate in every limited-entry hunt offered in Michigan, are also on sale at all license vendors and online starting March 1 to Dec. 31. For more information on the Pure Michigan Hunt, go to www.michigan.gov/puremichiganhunt.

People may also purchase E-Gift Cards online through the DNRE's website that can be redeemed online for any hunting or fishing license or snowmobile or off-road vehicle trail sticker. The E-Gift Cards make great gifts for outdoor enthusiasts. The E-Gift Cards can only be used for online purchases of licenses, and cannot be redeemed at a retailer or a DNRE office. The E-Gift Cards are available in $15, $30 and $50 increments.

For more information, visit the DNRE’s website at www.michigan.gov/dnre.

The DNRE is committed to the conservation, protection, management and accessible use of the state’s environment, natural resources and related economic interests for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnre.
 

Sen. Green reacts to governor’s budget presentation

LANSING―State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, issued the below statement following Gov. Rick Snyder's budget presentation to lawmakers on Thursday:

“Our state faces some very serious challenges. Over the coming days and weeks, I will work with my Senate colleagues and the administration to discuss the details of the governor's budget plan and to pass a responsible budget in a timely manner.

“Throughout this process, I will be looking to answer four key questions: Where are taxpayers' dollars going? Are they being spent effectively? Are they being spent efficiently? And, lastly, are we getting good value out of every taxpayer’s dollar being spent?

“I am committed to passing a budget that does not increase taxes, a budget that really reforms the structure of state government, and the way it operates. Most importantly, I will work for a budget that sets the conditions necessary to bring good-paying jobs back to Michigan and the 31st District. For me, jobs are the number one priority and that will continue to be my focus going forward.”

For this and other news releases, video and audio podcasts and photos of Sen. Green, please visit his website at www.StateSenatorMikeGreen.com.

Senate approves legislation benefiting Michigan farmers

LANSING―Farmers who voluntarily comply with state environmental standards would receive real benefits under bills approved by the state Senate on Wednesday, said Sen. Mike Green.

“A farmer's land is his livelihood, and this legislation will provide benefits to everyone: farmers, our communities, and the environment,” said Green, R-Mayville. “I am proud to represent the breadbasket of Michigan and, as a farmer, I know how important the proper care and treatment of our land is to our profession. We love our land and do what we can to protect it."

Senate Bills 122 and 123 would significantly change the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. Through this legislation, compliant farms will be protected from onerous civil fines, and grant money from existing funds will be made available to encourage participation and compliance in the program on the part of Michigan’s farmers.

SBs 122 and 123 now go to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

Bay City State Recreation Area Offering Winter Fishing in the Park Program Feb. 19

Bay City State Recreation Area will be offering a free “Winter Fishing in the Park” program on Saturday, Feb. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a special opportunity for families to try ice fishing on the park’s Tobico Lagoon during Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend, where anyone can fish Michigan’s waters without a license (all other fishing regulations still apply). This program is designed to give families and youth a chance to learn and practice basic ice fishing skills.

The program begins with a basic Tips and Tricks to Ice Fishing session at 9 a.m. inside the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center Auditorium. Participants will learn how to rig a pole, select bait and equipment, learn about ice fishing safety and get a few tips on how to ice fish. An ice fishing derby starts at 10 a.m. with a special prize for the best catch. Bait and loaner fishing poles will be provided. Pre‑drilled holes for ice fishing will be offered to all children participating.  A warming fire and free hot chocolate will also be provided

This program provides a great opportunity for the entire family to get outdoors and fish, and for the kids to try out the skills they learned at last Saturday’s annual Winter Festival at Bay City State Recreation Area. To learn about this statewide Free Fishing Weekend Feb. 19 and 20, and to find more events, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.

The Bay City State Recreation Area is located at 3582 Park Dr. in Bay City. For more information, stop by the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located within Bay City State Recreation Area or call 989-667-0717.

The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call (517) 241-7275.

The DNRE is committed to the conservation, protection, management, and accessible use and enjoyment of the state's environment, natural resources, and related economic interests for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnre.

Sen. Green co-sponsors repeal of Michigan Business Tax

LANSING—Sen. Mike Green has co-sponsored Senate Bill 1, a measure to repeal the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) and surcharge. The Senate Finance Committee began hearings on the legislation in Lansing this week.

“Our number-one priority must be to make Michigan a good place to do business and attract good-paying jobs,” said Green, R-Mayville. “That’s why I’ve co-sponsored the first bill introduced in the new legislative session to repeal the Michigan Business Tax and surcharge.”

The first-term lawmaker said the MBT, enacted in 2007, has burdened existing job creators in Michigan with higher taxes and has discouraged potential employers from relocating to the state.

A 2008 survey by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce of nearly 700 businesses revealed that 77 percent reported a higher tax burden under the MBT, with one-third reporting an increase in excess of 100 percent.

“Michigan’s unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation. Jobs and employers have been leaving Michigan for some time,” Green said. “It’s time to send a signal that Michigan is open and ready for business and that starts with eliminating the MBT.”

Economists have estimated that as many as 57,000 net new jobs would be created in the first year after a full repeal of the MBT and surcharge, and 120,900 jobs by 2016.

“Repealing the MBT will spur the creation of thousands of jobs in the first year alone and attract billions of dollars of investment to Michigan,” Green said. “It’s a bold first step in the reforms we need to reinvent Michigan.”
 

Photo Advisory: Sen. Green welcomes Vassar minister to Senate session

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, proudly welcomed Rev. Lyle J. Ohman to the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday. Rev. Ohman, Pastor of Juniata Baptist Church in Vassar, gave the invocation before the start of Senate session.

Editor’s note: The photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire.