MI Chamber Supports Efforts to Expand Broadband Services

April 15, 2019

It’s hard to believe that many parts of Michigan do not have access to broadband internet services. Unless you live in an area without access to broadband you would not know how wide spread the problem is. In the past, legislators have introduced bills to allow for local units of government to offer broadband services with revenues collected from a special millage. The Michigan Chamber always looked at this proposal with concern. 

Most recently, however, Chamber-backed legislation was introduced to provide for personal property tax relief for broadband service providers who expand their network into areas that currently do not have access. House Bill 4268 would exempt "eligible broadband equipment that resolves lack of broadband service." The Chamber believes incentivizing private investment is a better solution to the lack of broadband than raising property tax millages for a government-run service.

A committee hearing on the legislation took place last week. Despite widespread interest from the private sector, including the Michigan Chamber, the bill was met with opposition from the American Federation of Teachers, the Michigan Association of School Administrators and Michigan Association of School Boards. Local government groups had "concerns."

For more information, please contact Dan Papineau at dpapineau@michamber.com.