February 2016 Michigan Legislative Update

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Michigan State Capitol (Credit: Jan Davis Ruthig)

Michigan State Capitol (Credit: Jan Davis Ruthig)

This is our monthly legislative update tailored for Michiganders who work on challenges related to vacancy, abandonment, and community development. We’re tracking bills in the state legislature to help you stay in the loop on relevant policy activity!

The Michigan legislature reconvened after the holidays on Wednesday, January 13th, to kick off the second half of the 2015-2016 session. Details on key movements on bills are below.

NEW FEATURE: To see an updated list of all legislation we are currently tracking and the current status of each bill, click here.

Senate Bill 394 (Pending, Floor of the Senate) – Would amend state law to require smaller municipalities (by population) to do rental inspections under Michigan Housing Law. Sen. David B. Robertson (R, Senate District 14) introduced this legislation in the Senate on June 11, 2015. House version of the bill passed the Senate (38-0) on Jan. 28, 2016.

Senate Bill 673 (Pending, House Committee on Tax Policy) – Would extend the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) through 2026. OPRA is a development-incentive tool that local units of government can use to spur rehabilitation of vacant commercial properties, including multi-family rental housing, by granting property tax exemptions for a certain time period. OPRA is currently set to expire at the end of 2016. Sen. Ken Horn (R, Senate District 32), the primary sponsor, introduced this legislation on Dec. 15, 2015. Passed the Senate (37-0-1-0) on Feb. 2, 2016.

House Bill 4871 (Pending, House Committee on Tax Policy) – Would expand the homestead income tax credit. Rep. Martin Howrylak (R, House District 41), the primary sponsor, introduced this legislation on Sept. 16, 2015. Re-assigned to the House Committee on Tax Policy on Jan. 14, 2016.