Gov. Rick Snyder signs bills helping the economy, leveling the playing field for local businesses

Main Street Fairness Signing

Gov. Rick Snyder signs Main Street Fairness legislation supporting local businesses and leveling the playing field between in-state and online retailers. He is joined by (From left to right) Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, business owner Becky Beauchine Kulka, former state Rep. Eileen Kowall, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, business owner Barb Stein and James Hallan, president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association.


Also signs 18 other bills focused on creating good government practices

Thursday, January 15, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation boosting Michigan’s economy and helping local businesses by requiring shoppers to pay sales tax when purchasing items online from websites with a physical presence in the state.

“This Main Street Fairness legislation levels the playing field for local businesses, helping Michigan job providers better compete with online retailers,” Snyder said. “Local, brick-and-mortar businesses drive our economy and without implementing this fix, they will continue to serve as showrooms for online retailers.”

Senate Bills 658 and 659, sponsored by state Sen. Jim Ananich, makes Michigan’s tax code more fair and efficient by allowing the state to collect sales tax for purchases made through online retailers that have a physical presence in Michigan. This legislation, which has been enacted in 22 other states, is expected to bring in an additional $60 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The bills help to reduce the competitive disadvantage brick- and-mortar retailers face against online competitors; however federal action is needed to completely solve this issue. The bills are now Public Acts 553 and 554 of 2014.

Snyder also signed 18 other bills:

SB 423, sponsored by former state Sen. John Pappageorge, which requires the state within one year to conduct a study determining if per-pupil educational funding is sufficient for Michigan students. The study, under the direction of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, would include an examination of the impact of all costs schools face including food service, transportation, building construction and maintenance. The governor issued a signing letter that provides clarification regarding legislative intent language. It is now PA 555.

SB 493, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, creates standards for the height of antennas related to amateur radio service stations in Michigan to prevent inconsistent restrictions of these structures by local municipalities. It is now PA 556.

SBs 623, 624 and 929, sponsored by state Sens. Mike Kowall, Rick Jones and Steve Bieda, respectively, update the Nonprofit Corporation Act to align with current definitions and business practices, while changing requirements for a nonprofit to dissolve. They are now PAs 557-559.

SB 947, sponsored by Jones, removes the mandatory biennial audit requirement for collection agencies, and instead provides for audits to be performed at the discretion of the Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). It is now PA 560.

SB 1007, sponsored by former state Sen. John Pappageorge, gives homeowners increased flexibility when dealing with special assessment liens. Homeowners wanting to sell or refinance their homes will no longer be required to pay off the entire lien in a large lump sum payment, but in annual installments. It is a companion bill to HB 5202, signed by Snyder on Dec. 30, 2014. It is now PA 561.

SB 1055, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, loosens restrictions regarding where state-paid printing is performed, allowing the state to save money by expanding the field of bidders for state print jobs. It is now PA 562.

HB 4001, sponsored by former state Rep. and current Sen. Mike Shirkey, changes Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act to specify procedures and limits related to submitted requests. The bill sets fee limits and criteria for determining fees, establishes procedures for responding and declining requests, and establishes a process for appealing fees. It is now PA 563.

House Bill 4237, sponsored by former state Rep. Gail Haines, allows for expansion of telecommunication services using Michigan Public Safety Communications Systems towers in rural, underserved areas of the state including the Upper Peninsula. It is now PA 564.

HB 4290, sponsored by former state Rep. Bob Genetski, requires the Michigan Department of Treasury to help Michigan residents comply with state tax laws by providing certain materials in printed and electronic formats. These materials include internal policy directives, audit standards, sampling manuals, cash basis sales tax audit overview, industrial processing sales and use tax manual, and other deductions sales and use tax manual. It is now PA 565.

HB 4576, sponsored by former state Rep. Hugh Crawford, allows for the certification of individuals wanting to serve as Affordable Care Act navigators or certified application counselors. The bill allows the director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services to create a Michigan-specific certification and training program if needed, to ensure that Michigan consumers have access to accurate information regarding health insurance coverage under the ACA. It is now PA 566.

HB 5141, sponsored by former state Rep. and current Sen. Peter MacGregor, transfers the ownership of 26 acres of recreation land in Kent County from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to the Kent County Parks and Recreation Authority. The bill will reduce the DNR’s ownership and management responsibilities in Kent County, while specifying that the land must still be open for public recreation purposes, or it will revert to the DNR. It is now PA 567.

HB 5160, sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, gives cities, townships or villages the option to enter into an agreement with the county treasurer to administer its municipal tax functions. The bill allows local governments to work together to save money. Before taking effect, an agreement would have to be approved by the local unit’s governing body and by the county’s board of commissioners. It is now PA 568.

HB 5812, sponsored by state Rep. Ken Yonker, changes meeting requirements for the Michigan Electronic Recording Commission. To reduce costs to the state, the commission is now only required to meet annually instead of quarterly. It is now PA 569.

HB 5868, sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, ensures that a district library may continue its operations even if participation by local municipalities changes. It is now PA 570.

HB 5932, sponsored by former state Rep. Pete Lund, revises life insurance regulations to allow insurers to use a principal-based method to calculate the amount of reserves needed to cover future benefits. It is PA 571.

HB 5952, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, allows Commerce Township to build a library on land designated for a public park that was transferred to the township in 1985. It is now PA 572.

The governor also vetoed HB 4485, sponsored by state Rep. Bruce Rendon, which would exempt operators of self-storage facilities that sell “stored property insurance” from licensure as insurance agents. In his veto letter, the governor wrote that the bill significantly weakens consumer protections and consumers need to be assured that their property is protected, just as it is in their homes. In addition, Snyder expressed concern that exempting certain individuals from licensure as insurance agents based solely on the point of sale of the product may create an inequitable regulatory environment.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit www.legislature.michigan.gov.

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Related Documents
HB 4485 Veto Letter PDF icon
SB 423 Signing Letter PDF icon