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Tax reform aids taxpayers in Treasury disputes

Michigan taxpayers should have equal access to the court system if they want to appeal their taxes.

When a taxpayer in Michigan has a dispute over taxes, other than property taxes, he or she can appeal the tax liability to either the Michigan Tax Tribunal or the Court of Claims. In either case, the taxpayer must pay the undisputed part of the tax. However, in an appeal to the Court of Claims, the taxpayer must also pay the contested portion of the tax, including any penalties and interest, before the Court can hear the case.

I recently supported Senate legislation - now law - that eliminates this prepayment requirement. Taxpayers shouldn't lose access to the Court of Claims simply because they can't afford it. Public Act 79 of 2015 will take effect around April 1, 2016.
 

Robertson backs new law to provide college credit for military service

Veterans and active duty members of the military could find a quicker path to earning their college degree under a new law.

Public Act 44 of 2015 allows veterans and individuals serving in the military to apply their college-level military experience and education toward academic credit. The new law requires Michigan's public universities to inform applicants that their training may translate into credit and review the applicant's Joint Services Transcript for evaluation of any transfer credits.
 

Fight the bite

West Nile virus activity has already been identified in Michigan. Birds are the most affected, although the virus can cause illness in people, horses and other animals.

Most people infected with West Nile virus will have no signs of illness or will experience a mild flu-like illness. To help protect against mosquitoes, which can transmit the virus, health officials remind us to apply repellent during peak mosquito biting times (dawn and dusk), install and repair window and door screens, and drain standing water around our homes.

Find more information at www.michigan.gov/westnile.
 

Fall turkey hunting

In 2013, Michigan ranked 7th in the nation for turkey harvest. While the spring season is the traditional time to hunt wild turkey, limited fall hunts are offered in specific areas. Hunting applications are available through Aug. 1; the application fee is $5. Both applications and licenses may be purchased at any authorized license agent or online at www.mdnr-elicense.com.

More information on the fall turkey season is available at www.michigan.gov/turkey.