Sen. Emmons achieves renaissance zone reimbursement for community colleges in state budget

LANSING?Due in large part to the efforts of Sen. Judy Emmons, community colleges will once again be reimbursed by the state for tax revenue lost due to the creation of a renaissance zone in their area.

When renaissance zones were established, one of the benefits given to businesses in the zones was elimination of their property taxes, which is a key funding source for community colleges.

“This is a restoration of funding to our excellent community colleges, and it could mean more than $340,000 for Montcalm Community College,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “It is also about fairness and prioritizing college education. Community colleges used to be reimbursed for this loss of funding by the state, but that was eliminated due to budget restraints.

“Michigan’s community colleges perform vital services preparing our citizens for jobs and retraining for new careers. Now that our economy is recovering and revenues are increasing, I believe it is important to restore this effective funding.”

The budget for the Department of Treasury, as approved by the Senate on Wednesday, includes $3.5 million for renaissance zone reimbursements to community colleges for revenue that would have been generated by voter-approved community college millages.