Facebook1Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Thurston CountyA distinguished group, charged with finding funding alternatives for repair or replacement of the aging Thurston County Courthouse, has begun meeting.Members of the Courthouse Finance Committee include:Tom Fitzsimmons- Committee Chair, former Chief of Staff for Governors Gary Locke and Christine GregoireMarty Brown- Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Technical CollegesPatricia McLain- Retired, Former Legislative Building Rehabilitation Project ManagerKevin Foster-Keddie- Executive, Washington State Employees Credit UnionCindy Zehnder- Government Affairs Consultant and former Chief of Staff for Governor Christine GregoireWolfgang Opitz- Deputy State TreasurerDiana Benson- Chief Deputy, Thurston County Auditor’s OfficeShawn Myers- Thurston County TreasurerCounty Commission Chair Sandra Romero says the guidance of the committee is welcome, considering how out of date the current county courthouse has become. “We have major challenges with buildings that are nearly 40 years old that were never intended to accommodate today’s technology or security requirements. Estimates are that we would have to spend 5-million dollars or more over the next few years, just to keep up with maintenance of the dilapidated current courthouse. We are lucky to have such a highly qualified committee to study the feasibility of major renovations to the current courthouse or potential construction of a new facility.”Courthouse Finance Committee Chair Tom Fitzsimmons says the group takes the review of possible financial solutions very seriously. “Our mission is to evaluate the work done so far and to develop creative financial options to solve the county’s desperate need for functional courthouse space that better serves county citizens. Hopefully we will come up with some solid alternatives for county officials and the citizens to consider. As part of that process we invite the public to follow along and of course, to let us know what they think about this important issue.”The meetings of the committee are open to the public. The group next meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday April 18 at the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, in Olympia. You can also send an email on the issue to all three County Commissioners at email@example.com
29Jun Governor signs Rep. Lauwers’ bills to expedite tax refunds for farmers Categories: Lauwers News Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed into law legislation sponsored by Rep. Dan Lauwers to eliminate delays in the processing of tax credit payments for farmers who participate in Michigan’s Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program.The program, often referred to as Public Act 116, offers a partial property tax refund to people who commit to using their land for agricultural production for a number of years.“This is a beneficial program that protects our farmland and helps sustain Michigan’s food and agriculture industry,” said Rep. Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “However, in recent years PA 116 applications and renewals have not been processed in a timely manner, which has hindered the Department of Treasury’s ability to process income tax refunds for farmers with PA 116 agreements. Some farmers have reported waiting more than a year for their tax refunds.”House Bill 5189, now Public Act 265 of 2016, streamlines the process for registering a PA 116 agreement with the state. HB 5191, now PA 267, holds the Department of Treasury accountable by applying a 3-percent annual interest rate on refunds not issued within 45 days.“This is a simple fix that will help farmers by eliminating red tape,” Rep. Lauwers said. “PA 116 applications will be processed more efficiently, which will ultimately lead to faster tax returns for farmers and greater participation in the program.”#####
07Sep Rep. Victory joined by first responder for Sept. 11 ceremony Categories: News,Victory News PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Roger Victory, of Hudsonville, hosted guest Ottawa County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Schaller for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The service remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year.