Senator Mike Shirkey

Cross Country Team receives Recognition

On December 6th we honored the Hanover-Horton High School Boys Cross Country Team with a presentation in the Senate Chambers. They won the 2017 Michigan Division 3 Cross Country Championship. Congratulations Comets on such a successful year!

Watch the floor presentation by clicking the photo below.

OPEB Update

In Michigan, local governments are nearly $19 billion in the red on their pension and retirement health care obligations.

I recently supported legislation to better protect the retirement benefits promised to local workers, including law enforcement and firefighters. The bills require uniform and consistent reporting by local governments with unfunded liabilities to accurately assess retirement costs and taxpayer obligations. Communities can then develop plans to get control of their debt. It’s important to ensure existing problems do not get bigger or go unaddressed.

In related news, a new website provides important financial data about Michigan’s counties, townships, cities and villages. Visit www.michigan.gov/treasury and click on MI Community Financial Dashboard to learn about a community’s revenues and expenditures, as well as long-term debt and unfunded pension liability costs.

Treasury Warns of Fraudulent Phone Calls

The Michigan Department of Treasury is warning taxpayers of aggressive and threatening phone calls made by individuals impersonating state tax officials.

Around the end of November, the state Treasury Department observed a surge in scam phone calls where scammers were claiming to be a state tax official and asking for cash through a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card. Victims are told they owe money and will face arrest, legal action or suspension of business if not paid promptly.

Scammers are altering caller ID numbers to make it look like Treasury is calling. They may use employee titles, a person’s name, address, and other personal information to sound official.

“Unfortunately, scammers are consistently using new tricks and tactics to take advantage of taxpayers,” said Deputy Treasurer Glenn White “The Department of Treasury doesn’t initially contact taxpayers through the phone. Our first interaction is generally done by mail.”

Treasury will never:

• Initiate a phone call to ask for personal information.
• Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid gift debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, Treasury will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
• Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
• Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
• Ask for a PIN, password or access codes to your bank account or credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Taxpayers who don’t owe taxes or don’t think they owe taxes should hang up immediately of they receive one of these calls. For individuals who owe taxes or think they do, they can call 517-636-5265 to find out their account balance information.

Taxpayers who have received a call from a scammer should report the case to the IRS through the web, or by calling 800-366-4484.

Grant Opportunities for County Fairs

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced a competitive grant opportunity for Michigan’s county fairs to make building and other capital improvements to their fairground facilities. Additionally, grants are available for associations or other organized events hosting fairs or expositions showing livestock and commodities. Both grant proposals must be received by MDARD no later than 5 p.m. on February 1, 2018.

The capital improvement program provides additional funds for county fair officials to help make needed improvements to their fairground facilities; including, but not limited to, structural improvements or other renovations to buildings.

The submitted grants will go through a competitive grant process and will be reviewed by an evaluation committee.

The shows and expositions grant provides financial support for awards in the form of premiums or promotional activities of the livestock and commodity expositions.

For detailed program information, application form, and submission criteria, please visit http://www.michigan.gov/mdard or contact Cinda Karlik at karlikc@michigan.gov or 517-284-5723. Proposal should be sent to P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, MI 48909 and must be RECEIVED (not postmarked) by 5 p.m. on February 1, 2018.

Merry Christmas from your State Senator!

Click the picture below for a special Christmas message from Senator Shirkey!

Your 16th State Senate District Map

The 16th State Senate District contains all of Branch, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties

16th Senate District Map

Serving with and for you,

Mike Shirkey

 

Senator Mike Shirkey
201 Townsend Street, Suite #5300
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Visit my website at: www.senatormikeshirkey.com