Shirkey: Trunk or Treat activities abound!

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, announced Thursday that several communities in Branch, Hillsdale and Jackson counties are providing alternatives to trick-or-treating.

“Numerous churches, libraries and other organizations are once again offering ‘Trunk or Treat’ as a fun activity for kids the next two weeks,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “We want to thank everyone who is helping organize these events for families!”

Note: The above graphic of Trunk or Treat times and locations is available by clicking on the image or by selecting Publications under the Resources for You tab, above.

Shirkey honors Eagle Scout at Branch County Shelter House

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, honored Eagle Scout Bryce Taber Wednesday at the Branch County Shelter House playground open house.

Bryce built four benches and a shed and donated money toward the playground. The Branch County Shelter House is a women’s care center in Coldwater.

Great servant leadership, Bryce!

Note: The above photo is available by clicking on the image or by selecting Photowire at right.

Committee OKs Shirkey bills to help communities like Coldwater set bonding limit

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday approved Sen. Mike Shirkey’s legislation to address the impact of personal property tax (PPT) reimbursements to local communities.

“The personal property tax was penalizing investment and putting us at a disadvantage in the competition for new jobs, and phasing it out was an important step in improving our economy,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “This legislation is in response to a local concern brought to my attention about the phaseout. The bills would maintain a community’s current ability to bond for necessary improvements as the PPT reforms take effect.”

In 2012, the Legislature passed PPT reforms that phased out the tax for eligible manufacturing personal property. Local units of government are required to be fully reimbursed by the Local Community Stabilization Authority (LCSA) for lost revenue. The voters approved the reforms in August 2014.

The amount of debt that a community can have is limited to 10 percent of its assessed value of real and personal property.

“An unintended consequence of the PPT reform is that it reduces a community’s assessed property value, and therefore, the amount that the community can bond for to make critical investments,” Shirkey said. “This legislation does not increase a local government’s debt limit. It simply maintains the ability to bond at current levels.”

Senate Bills 590-593 would retain the debt capacity that each local unit of government had prior to the time the PPT phaseout began. The only difference now is that the funds are coming from the LCSA instead of through a PPT assessment.

The bills have been sent to the full Senate for consideration.

Shirkey resolution honors Michigan manufacturers

‘We applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of our manufacturers and their role in making Michigan the Comeback State!’

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution sponsored by Sen. Mike Shirkey honoring the long-standing contributions made by Michigan’s manufacturing community.

“It is appropriate for many reasons to celebrate Michigan manufacturing this week,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Not only is Michigan solidly leading the nation in creation of manufacturing jobs, but manufacturing is rewarding work that provides the richest training ground for success in nearly any career field one may choose to follow.

“To encourage those who are contemplating their first or next career decision and to honor the giants who have built our manufacturing foundation, Senate Resolution 101 recognizes manufacturers and their important work.”

Oct. 1 – 7 is Michigan Manufacturing Week. The week celebrates the state’s diverse manufacturing sector, which includes the fields of transportation, machinery, alternative energy, food and beverage, computer and electrical products, furniture, bioscience, defense, and many others.

Shirkey noted that one out of every seven nonfarm jobs in Michigan is in manufacturing, which employs 608,500 men and women.

Michigan has created more than 156,500 new manufacturing jobs in the last eight years — an increase of more than 34 percent — remaining the national leader in manufacturing job creation and outpacing all other states.

“To those who are continuing to add to Michigan’s incredibly rich manufacturing heritage, we proudly introduce this resolution recognizing them and their work,” Shirkey said.