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Dear Friends,

To better serve you, I am offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in the 30th Senate District and across our state.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You can call toll-free at 855-347-8030 or email [email protected]. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Working for you,

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Mark Huizenga
State Senator

Supporting small business PPT expansion

I recently supported passage of legislation to implement expanded personal property tax (PPT) relief for small businesses and help reimburse local governments for lost revenue.

I sponsored this bill last session to provide more relief from personal property taxes, which punish job providers for investing in their Michigan business. Our small businesses — from new manufacturers to longtime family restaurants — are the heartbeat of our economy, and this expansion will help support their continued growth while also protecting the ability of our local governments to provide vital services, like public safety.

In December 2021, Michigan enacted legislation to increase the number of businesses that could qualify for the small taxpayer PPT exemption by increasing the exemption amount from $80,000 to $180,000. However, the legislation did not include a mechanism and process to administer the exemption.

Senate Bill 331 would create a filing process to allow small businesses to use a PPT exemption when the total true cash value of industrial and commercial property is between $80,000 and $180,000 and set a deadline for local governments to provide exemption information to the Michigan Department of Treasury for reimbursement.

The bill is the same as my 2022 measure, Senate Bill 1060, which was approved unanimously by the Senate last year but was not taken up by the House.

SB 331 is connected to House Bills 4553 and 4554, which are pending before the House. HB 4553 would create the Local Government Reimbursement Fund and set a deadline by which the state must reimburse local governments for exemptions granted the previous year. HB 4554 would require $75 million in use tax revenue to be deposited into the Local Government Reimbursement Fund each fiscal year beginning with the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2024.

District office hours

I am holding in-person office hours throughout the district on a regular basis because hearing directly from the people about the issues they are facing is an important part of representing everyone in West Michigan. These meetings give local residents a chance to express their viewpoints about what needs to be done and offer help to people dealing with a variety of state issues.

This month, I will be holding district office hours at the following dates, times and locations:

• Monday, Oct. 16 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Sandy’s Donuts, 2040 Leonard St. NW in Grand Rapids and 9 to 10 a.m. at Dunkin’ Donuts, 4201 Alpine Ave. NW in Alpine Township.

• Friday, Oct. 27 from 9 to 10 a.m. at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive NE in Rockford and from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Drive NE in Plainfield Township.

Office hours are open to all residents, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone who is unable to attend the office hour may contact my office.

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Town hall meeting on Oct. 26

One of the most important parts of being an effective senator is listening to the people you represent about the issues affecting our region and state and discussing possible solutions to the problems facing families in our community.

I am proud to announce that later this month, I will host a town hall meeting. The event will be on Oct. 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Wisner Center inside the Cascade branch of the Kent District Library. The address is 2870 Jacksmith Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

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Highlighting rail safety

Sept. 18-24 was Rail Safety Week. In recognition of rail safety awareness, I had the privilege of attending the West Michigan Rail Safety Event. It was a great reminder to always be safe and cautious when approaching railways. For more information, please check out Operation Lifesaver.

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Visit to Blandford Nature Center

It was a great honor to present the Blandford Nature Center with this $1.5 million check. These community grants allow amazing organizations like the Blandford Nature Center to continue their work in protecting and educating on West Michigan’s natural resources.

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Fall in Pure Michigan

Once again, it is fall in Michigan. Mornings are chilly, the sun is setting a little earlier, and the trees are beginning to change color. Across the state, the leaves transform from green to red, orange and yellow — first slowly and quietly, then suddenly in a final explosion of color.

To find peak color throughout the state, check out the Pure Michigan fall color map. The Peak Color Report provides weekly updates as the vibrant colors of fall roll across the state, along with travel and activity ideas for exploring Michigan this fall.

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College Savings Month

Last month was College Savings Month! Michigan has many programs to help students and parents plan for the college years and to make college or professional certifications available to every student.

Michigan Education Savings Plan An MESP allows Michigan taxpayers to reduce their state taxable income up to $10,000 per year and save money for educational expenses with tax-deferred growth and 100% tax-free earnings for qualified withdrawals.
Michigan Education Trust is a 529 saving program. The MET allows parents, grandparents and others to pay for tomorrow’s education at today’s price.
Michigan Achievement Scholarship provides renewable scholarships for Michigan high school graduates when attending an eligible Michigan postsecondary institution.

Nominate the next Michigan Teacher of the Year

Michigan teachers invest in our students’ lives and often do not receive the recognition they deserve.

Each year, the Michigan Department of Education accepts nominations for Michigan Teacher of the Year and Regional Teachers of the Year to recognize teachers who have shown leadership and dedication to the teaching profession. The Michigan Teacher of the Year serves as a representative and advocate for Michigan's more than 80,000 teachers and works with the other nine fellow Regional Teachers of the Year to make up the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council. Regional Teachers of the Year, who are selected from across 10 regions of Michigan, meet regularly to provide their expertise and offer input on proposed state and department initiatives. The Michigan Teacher of the Year also attends the State Board of Education meetings as a non-voting member and serves as Michigan’s applicant for National Teacher of the Year.

Nominations for the 2024-25 Michigan Teacher of the Year are open from now until Oct. 24. For more information about the program or to nominate a teacher, visit the Michigan Department of Education’s Michigan Teacher of the Year page. Nominations can also be made using the online form.

Grants available for invasive species projects

Michigan’s Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP) is accepting grant proposals from now through Nov. 1. Each year, $3.6 million is made available in grants ranging from $40,000 to $400,000 to help prevent, detect, and control invasive species.

The program is a joint effort between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Local, state, federal and tribal units of government, as well as nonprofit organizations and universities are encouraged to apply in support of their invasive species projects in Michigan. The 2023 grant program handbook outlines program priorities and application guidelines.

Since its inception in 2014, MISGP has had a tremendous impact on protecting Michigan’s water, trees, and land from invasive species. The program has awarded over $18 million to 112 projects resulting in management of invasive species, including phragmites, Japanese knotweed and oak wilt on more than 35,000 acres of land and water statewide. Learn more about ongoing MISGP projects and view the funding dashboard.

Serving the people of West Michigan is very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may contact me by calling toll-free 1-855-347-8030 or emailing [email protected].

I look forward to serving you, and I encourage you to contact me if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Senator Mark Huizenga
201 Townsend St., Suite #7200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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