Property Tax Shift Approved by State House

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The state House on Wednesday approved a bill to move up the due date of county property taxes to offset lost state revenue sharing dollars.

After voting for a little more than three hours, the Republican-controlled House approved the measure 55-52. It now goes to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who first laid out the proposal in her executive budget proposal in January.

The bill would gradually move up the county property tax collections from the winter to the summer to offset a $182 million cut to county revenue sharing payments.

The early collections would go into a pool counties can draw from instead of receiving revenue sharing payments from the state.

Dozens of local government officials watched the vote from the gallery above the House chamber in the Capitol. The bill is one of the last pieces needed to balance next year's
$39.7 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins in eight days. The state constitution requires a balanced state budget.

Counties and other local units of government have seen their revenue sharing payments drop by about $1 billion in recent years as state revenues dried up.