Sen. Brandenburg District Update

New tax checkoff to help fund World War II memorial

Michigan answered our nation’s call to duty during World War II. More than 620,000 residents served in the armed forces and countless others worked in industry as part of America’s “Arsenal of Democracy.”

Senate legislation now signed into law will help honor the Michigan residents who served in military roles and on the home front and pay tribute to the 15,458 service members who lost their lives. Public Acts 256 and 257 of 2018 add an income tax checkoff for taxpayers to contribute to the Michigan World War II Legacy Memorial Fund. The memorial, to be built with voluntary donations in Southeast Michigan, will also educate future generations about Michigan’s unique story during the Second World War.

 

Brandenburg backs new law to improve veteran services

I recently supported legislation — now signed into law — to provide Michigan veterans with better access to services and benefits.  Public Act 210 of 2018 creates a state fund to help counties establish and maintain veteran services offices. The fund will help ensure counties have the resources to provide support to our state’s veterans.

Over 600,000 veterans call Michigan home and many look to their local government for assistance in obtaining their veteran benefits.

 

Out-of-state online retailers to pay sales tax

Following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, mail order and online retailers located outside of Michigan must pay the 6 percent sales tax on taxable sales into the state. Previously, consumers were required to track and report uncollected taxes on their state income tax form.

Under the state Treasury Department’s new rule, all applicable retailers must pay state sales tax and file tax returns for taxable sales made after Sept. 30, 2018. Individuals and businesses can learn more about Michigan’s sales tax requirements at www.michigan.gov/taxes.

 

School safety grants

To help keep our children safe at school, the Michigan Legislature recently appropriated $25 million to the Michigan State Police for school safety grants. The grants are intended to improve the safety and security of school buildings through the purchase of technology and equipment, as well as by conducting school building safety assessments. Applications for the fiscal year 2018 Competitive School Safety Grant Program are due by noon on Sept. 13. Find more information, including application and instructions, at https://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-72297_34040_75045—,00.html.

 

West Nile virus case confirmed

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently confirmed the first human West Nile virus infection for 2018. The virus is carried by certain types of mosquitoes in Michigan.

Most people who become infected with West Nile virus will not develop any symptoms. Others will have a mild illness that may include fever, headache and body aches, though some people may become more seriously ill. To help protect against mosquito bites, people should use insect repellent, drain standing water around the home and patch window screens to help keep mosquitoes outside. Last year, 40 residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus in Michigan with one death reported. Visit www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus for more information, along with maps of current activity by county.