Thursday, January 20, 2011

Something to Watch from State of State

Livingston County should keep a close eye on one piece of legislation outlined in the State of the State message on Wednesday (Jan. 19, 2011). That's the proposal to let emergency financial managers intervene earlier in entites with severe financial problems.

How could that possibly affect Livingston County, one of the wealthiest counties in the state and with the often-bragged about lowest tax rate?

The fact is several townships may soon be unable to pay back their share of the $100 million the county has borrowed for them in order to build water and sewer systems for private developers, who later walked away from the projects and left taxpayers holding the bag. One of the worst affected is Handy Township, who got deeply in debt when Republican Rep. Cindy Denby was township supervisor and thought the world was going to move to Handy Township even as the Michigan economy shed jobs by the hundreds of thousands throughout the decade.

If Handy Township can't make it's debt payments, will a financial manager be needed? Will Denby and the other Republican lawmakers from the county slip something into this bill to help out Livingston County -- like that $5 million taxpayer bailout they proposed earlier?

Keep your eye on the ball.

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