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Dear Friends,

To better serve the great people of West Michigan, I’m offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in the new 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 tax relief for working families

This week, I voted for legislation to increase the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) beginning with the current 2022 tax year.

It’s our duty as legislators to solve problems facing families across the state. Many families are struggling to make ends meet, and this measure would deliver over $440 million in meaningful relief to those most in need.

Senate Bill 144 would effectively increase the state’s EITC from 6% to 30% of the federal EITC beginning with the 2022 tax year. Qualifying taxpayers would not have to file amended returns to receive their increased credit. Instead, for the 2022 tax year, the state would figure the amount owed to the taxpayer that is above the current 6% and provide that credit as a tax refund as soon as possible.

The Earned Income Tax Credit has been an effective way to increase labor force participation and provide assistance to working families since being signed into law by West Michigan’s own President Gerald Ford. I am proud to support this legislation to put more money in the pockets of hardworking Michiganders. SB 144 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Tour of Beer City Dog Biscuits

I recently joined the brew bakers at Beer City Dog Biscuits, where each treat is hand-made and packaged with care by a team of people with disabilities who are the core of the company’s culture and business process. Beer City Dog Biscuits is a nonprofit organization formed in 2008 by parents on behalf of children with disabilities. It strives to help each brew baker develop valuable skills throughout every step of the biscuit baking process, from mixing dough to packaging biscuits.

A video of my tour is available by clicking here or on the image below.

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Aggregate processing tax cut bills head to governor

We need to use part of our historic budget surplus to improve our roads and local infrastructure, and I recently supported bills to help reduce taxes on the equipment used to produce the critical building materials for these long-term investments.

The bills would clarify how a state tax exemption applies to producing aggregates like crushed stone and gravel products and industrial and recycled materials.

While I will continue to work to pass similar reforms to provide needed relief to local small businesses by solving the problem of confusing taxes on the delivery and installation of goods, these measures will help West Michigan job providers struggling with increased costs.

Equipment used in processing aggregates includes loaders, feeders, crushers, screens, conveyors, dust control equipment and generators. Recent audits from the Michigan Department of Treasury have disputed the use tax industrial processing exemption on this equipment.

Senate Bill 97 would amend the state’s Use Tax Act to clarify that the industrial processing exemption for machinery and equipment used in aggregate production is applicable as long as use tax is paid on the product. House Bill 4054 would amend the state’s General Sales Tax Act by adding the production, manufacturing, or recycling of aggregate to the industrial processing exemption if the aggregate is subject to the use tax.

The bills now head to the governor to be signed.

Earth Day and Arbor Day

Spring is a season of renewal. To raise awareness about the importance of our outdoors and our wonderful natural resources in our daily lives, we celebrated Earth Day last week and today we recognize Arbor Day, a 151-year-old celebration of trees and their critical role in our way of life.

Last week, I celebrated Earth Day and encouraged planting more trees by supporting the Kent County Conservation District tree and native plant sale!

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Recognizing our interns

One invaluable part of our Senate office is the contribution we receive from legislative interns. I recently recognized Michigan State University students Henry VanderZyden and Spencer Woodruff upon the completion of their internships in our office. They are both dedicated hard workers who served the constituents of the 30th Senate District with distinction, and I wish them both the very best in their future endeavors.

You can click here to see my remarks recognizing Henry and Spencer during Senate session.

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Encouraging volunteering

Last week was National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to recognize the impact volunteering has on our local communities. Every day, volunteers make a huge impact on the lives of those they serve. Volunteering is also a great way to learn new skills, enjoy the great outdoors or make professional connections.

Volunteers are needed in nearly every corner of our state. To find a need in your area, contact your local church, school or community center. If you prefer working outdoors, the DNR has volunteer events at state parks and recreation areas throughout the year.

Visit Volunteer Michigan for even more ideas and volunteer opportunities near you.

School growth metrics available to the public

Last year, the school aid budget, Public Act 144 of 2022, included a requirement that student growth data be available to the public at the district and school levels and by grade and subjects taught.

The Michigan Department of Education recently unveiled a new website that offers tools to provide teachers, parents and policymakers with a visual representation of growth and achievement for public schools and districts. This information allows for a comparison of schools and districts across the state and includes interactive reports for selecting the data of interest.

The MI School Data website is another available tool that offers various methods to review statewide information or data at the intermediate school district, district, school, or college level. Data are presented in graphs, charts, and trend lines and can be downloaded to make informed decisions to improve student success.

ORV licenses and trail permits

It’s time to purchase your 2023 ORV licenses and trail permits. Permits are valid for one year and provide access to 4,000 miles of state-designated ORV trails and scramble areas, eligible county, state or national forest roads and more.

The fees generated through ORV licenses and trail permits are reinvested back into the ORV system for trail expansion, grant funding for annual trail grooming, and infrastructure improvements.

ORV licenses and trail permits can be purchased online or in person at a number of DNR license agents and dealers.

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

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