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Editorial: Lost revenue should be replaced

Published 9:05pm Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It’s encouraging to hear state Sen. John Proos supports replacing lost revenues to municipalities, counties and schools if the state personal property tax is eliminated.

We just hope his co-legislators are in agreement.

The loss of that revenue would be pretty damaging to communities. The City of Niles stands to lose more than $268,000, while Buchanan could lose around $148,000. It’s a huge chunk of their budgets, but in light of revenue sharing cuts, the reductions add up pretty quickly.

Berrien County Administrator Bill Wolf told commissioners last week that, with the “most favorable spin,” the county would lose $340,000 in revenue in 2013. In a column last fall, Brandywine Community Schools Supt. John Jarpe said his district would lose about $65,000 if the tax is eliminated.

Overall it generates $1.3 billion a year, benefiting counties, local governments, K-12 schools, libraries and community colleges.

The personal property tax is levied on machinery and equipment in industrial, commercial and utility buildings. We certainly recognize the value for growing business and creating jobs in phasing out this burdensome tax.

But we hope the Legislature agrees with Proos and seeks out a way to replace the lost funding for our communities.

This editorial represents the views of the editorial board.

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