LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-North Muskegon, on Tuesday issued the following statement after Senate Democrats introduced copies of his legislation to reform Michigan’s property tax exemption for 100% disabled veterans:
“Last week, Sens. Kevin Hertel and Sam Singh introduced Senate Bills 454 and 455, which would amend the current process for how 100% disabled veterans file for a property tax exemption with their local municipalities and ensure that local governments are financially held harmless.
“I commend both senators for introducing such important legislation that will benefit our veterans and local governments. I am also completely supportive of these bills, because I have been working on this issue for years and introduced this same legislation earlier this year as well as last session.
“In March, I introduced Senate Bills 95 and 96, which were reintroductions of Senate Bills 783 of 2021 and 1084 of 2022. Unfortunately, neither senator co-sponsored this legislation, despite my staff and I personally reaching out on several occasions to see if they would be interested in working with me to help Michigan veterans and local governments.
“Over the last three years, I have worked closely with Michigan veteran organizations, local governments, and the Department of Treasury, hosting numerous work group meetings to get this legislation right. It has always been, and remains, my top priority that those directly affected by bills that I introduce are a part of the legislative process. It was only with stakeholder guidance and support that we drafted and introduced this legislation.
“Our 100% disabled veterans deserve the benefits they have earned, and the legislation ensures that their property tax exemption remains intact while also implementing changes so that our local municipalities do not have to bear the financial burden placed on them by this state mandate.
“This important legislation needs the attention of my colleagues, and I am glad to see that my fellow senators agree. However, I am disappointed that instead of them working across the aisle with me that they have hijacked this legislation as their own in an attempt to take credit on an issue that should be solely focused on assisting our state’s veterans.
“We recently passed a bipartisan state budget that I was proud to negotiate with my friends across the aisle. While we always didn’t agree on everything, we were able to work together and deliver for the people of Michigan.
“I, again, stand willing to work with both Sens. Hertel and Singh and hope that they will join me and work together to fix this issue for Michigan veterans and local governments.”