Local News Archives

How A City Income Tax Works

Now that Benton Harbor is getting its own city income tax, we thought we would check in with a couple of other Michigan cities that have municipal income taxes to see how it’s worked for them. James Freed is the city manager in Port Huron, where the income tax is also 1% for residents and 0.5% for non-residents who work in the city. He tells WSJM News collecting the tax is a simple process.. ...Read Full Story

House Bill Lets Spouses Of Disabled Veterans Keep Their License Plates

The Michigan House this week voted to allow a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran to continue to use their disabled veteran license plate. Under current law, Michigan residents with a 100% disability rating and an honorable discharge from the military are entitled to a disabled veteran plate. However, their spouses aren’t allowed to keep those plates when the veteran passes away. The new House bill would change that so the surviving spouse will be able to register the disabled veteran license plate in their name and receive one year free registration. State Representative Beth Griffin of Mattawan tells us the new bill “recognizes veterans for their courage and heroism, and the families that supported them.” The House bill now goes on to the Michigan Senate. According to the United States Census Bureau, about 3.8 million veterans in the United States had a service-connected disability in 2014.. ...Read Full Story

State Officials Experience One Night Homeless

Several state elected officials have learned what it’s like to be homeless. That’s because they spent Wednesday night pretending to be homeless as part of a challenge issued by the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness. Spokesperson Laurel Burchfield tells WSJM News the group wanted the state’s lawmakers to better understand the issue of homelessness.. ...Read Full Story

Legislation Aims To Reduce Costs For First-Time Homebuyers

Michigan residents will be able to set up a savings account to help cover the costs of a first-time home purchase under legislation introduced in the Michigan Senate. Co-sponsor state Senator John Proos tells WSJM News the package of legislation would provide a state income tax deduction of up to $5,000 for a single return and $10,000 for a joint return for contributions made into a first-time homebuyer savings account for up to 20 years.. ...Read Full Story

AEP Donates $50,000 To LMC Project

The American Electric Power Foundation has given a $50,000 grant to Lake Michigan College for the renovation of its Grand Upton Hall. LMC tells us the hall, located in The Mendel Center on the Napier Avenue campus, is the largest indoor venue in the region, with more than 50,000 visitors each year. The new renovation will include an updated design and improved functionality to the 14,440 square foot hall and its lobby. The project will also mean new lighting and technology for events and trade shows. AEP tells us it’s helping to support the project because it enhances education and overall quality of life in the community. Construction on the new Upton Hall renovation is slated to start in the summer of 2019. More than $800,000 is going into the work, which is the first large-scale upgrade to the Grand Upton Hall since the 1970s.. ...Read Full Story

Bill Should Prevent Paternity For Rapists

Stemming from a case in Michigan’s Thumb region in which a judge granted joint custody to a sex offender, a bill has been introduced in Lansing to help protect welfare recipients from having to provide paternity information in cases involving rape. A sponsor is state SEnator Steve Bieda of Warren, who spoke with Michigan News Network about the plan.. ...Read Full Story

State Food Drive Called A Success

The state of Michigan has been able to collect more than 791,000 pounds of food and $320,000 with its latest Harvest Gathering food drive. The Michigan Secretary of State’s office works with the Michigan Attorney General on the drive each year. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson told Michigan News Network the items go to food pantries.. ...Read Full Story