Proposed policy resolutions approved by delegates at the county annual meeting

View the resolutions below that were approved at the county annual and submitted to the state policy development committee to be considered at the Michigan Farm Bureau annual meeting. 

Contact the county office for information about the Policy Development process

015-Industrial HempHEMP Farming Act of 2018 would legalize Hemp removing it from the Federal list of controlled substances and allowing it to be sold as an agricultural commodity. Be it resolved that the Macomb County Farm Bureau supports the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 and would recommend Michigan State University do research for processing plants for HEMP research on proper growing techniques.
053-No-Fault Automobile InsuranceWhen there is an automobile accident the police immediately have the vehicle(s) towed to impound. The owner is not given an option to have it towed to their choice of a location. This results in towing and impound fees charged to the owner or insurance company. This contributes to high insurance prices. Be it resolved that in the event of an automobile accident the owner of the vehicle, if competent, should be able to choose the location to tow the vehicle to.
178-Law EnforcementSome properties are purchased that have vehicles left on them. After the agreement has expired to remove these vehicles by the prior owner, they become the property of the new owner. RESOLUTION: The new property owner should be able to acquire a title in their name on the vehicles left by the prior owner, pending a police title search, without having the original title.
082-Nonpoint Source Pollution and Watershed ManagementThe use of impervious surfaces such as concrete or asphalt in such areas as roadways, parking lots, and driveways, create large amounts of run off. Vegetative techniques such as grass swales, green roofs, and pervious landscape retention areas are techniques that can reduce storm water runoff. Restore permeability, give filtration. Providing cleaner run off going to streams and rivers. RESOLUTION: We encourage the state and local government to use buffer strips.
092-TaxationDo to the high cost of going to school, we as a state should provide some monetary relief for parents and students. Be it resolved that the Michigan Farm Bureau support a tax free weekend, prior to the start of the school year, for purchasing clothing, computers, books, school supplies, footwear, etc.
092-TaxationThe qualified agricultural exemption now allows the property to set idle for 1 year without losing the exemption. Under certain conditions the property may set idle for 2 or more years due to weather related conditions. Be it resolved that if a county is deemed a disaster county by the state governor or the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) the qualified agricultural exemption shall remain in place.
092-TaxationAgricultural Property in Michigan is taxed at 50% above the national average, which is a significant cost. We Support: • No change in current estate tax provisions. • Single purpose agricultural structures such as silos, grain bins, and greenhouses be treated as agricultural production tools and not be subject to personal or real property taxes, as referenced in the State of Michigan Revenue Administrative Bulletin 2002-15. • Development of legislation that voluntarily allows landowners to enroll in a program that assesses farm buildings’ at half their current taxable value and farmland, including managed wood lots, at a maximum property tax rate of $5.00 per acre. The rates would be assessed in exchange for temporary preservation of farmland for a contract period of 20 years. A recapture penalty for early withdrawal would be in imposed for benefits received plus interest. • Units of government to continue to classify equine operations as agricultural for zoning and tax purposes.
097-HighwaysAgriculture is dependent on a sound transportation system to move materials to and from farms to market. We are especially concerned about deteriorating roads and bridges in rural Michigan. The current Michigan weight laws for heavy trucks allow loads greater than 160,000 lbs. No other state allows loads of this magnitude without permits. RESOLUTION: We support the lowering of Michigan weight laws for trucks to that of surrounding states.
089-Wildlife ManagementSeveral wildlife species are causing considerable damage to our area crops. The constant high damage from these critters results in lower returns on our investment and causes replanting in some areas. - Sandhill Cranes, we recommend open hunts - Wild Turkeys, we recommend an increase from 1 to 2 birds be taken in the spring and fall hunting seasons.
092-TaxationCurrently there is no consistency at some local Farmer Markets in regards to application and reporting of sales tax. Be it resolved that the Macomb County Farm Bureau supports uniform regulation and enforcement of sales tax application and reporting for Direct Retail and Farmers Markets.
136-General Labor IssuesCurrently one of the requirements of receiving unemployment insurance is that each of our employees has to “conduct and report a weekly work search to be eligible for unemployment benefits”. This has proven extremely detrimental to agricultural employers as we are losing our temporarily laid off skilled, trained, and educated professionals. Be it resolved that a bill be introduced to extend the current “Registration and Seeking Work Waiver” from a 45 day waiver to a 12 week waiver from having to seek work for employees that are temporarily laid off and have a weather dependent return to work date.
154-Health & Health InsuranceThe health care system needs to be more transparent by providing the costs of services to the insured and un-insured. By doing this it will create more competition in the health industry. Be it resolved that all health care providers disclose cost of services prior to treatment.
154-Health & Health InsuranceUnder the Affordable Care Act some health insurance premiums are subject to a tax. Not every insurance provider itemizes their bills to show you how much tax is included in your premium. Be it resolved that the insurance providers itemize their billing so the consumers know what the actual cost of insurance is and how much their insurance is being taxed and by who.
154-Health & Health InsuranceSince the passage of the “Affordable Care Act” insurance premiums have soared while policy choices have declined. Health Share Organizations provide an alternative to the Health Insurance Model. Member’s choose their own health care providers, negotiate the cost of services, and share one another’s health needs. They currently operate nationally and internationally. Be it resolved that Macomb County Farm Bureau opposes a nationalized health care system. We do support legislation that would enhance the viability and proliferation of Health Share Organizations.
165-Unmanned Aircraft SystemsMacomb County supports AFBF policy 165, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, with the additional bullet under, We support: -MFB to work with Federal and State legislators to develop clear laws and penalties for UAS systems for trespassing in and on private land and airspace.
439-TaxationThe fact that a farmer’s land is a major retirement resource is a deterrent to the enrollment of such land into the PDR program. Augmented tax credits would provide a further incentive for a landowner to consider this option. RESOLUTION: When a landowner is entering into a Purchase of Development Rights agreement with a governmental or non-profit organization, the value of any easement donation by the landowner will be matched by a tax credit for a charitable donation from the Federal Government to the landowner.
503-Climate ChangeCarbon dioxide is an indispensable plant nutrient required to sustain all life on earth. The EPA is currently drafting rules that would regulate CO2 emissions on everything from large farm machinery to small gas engines. Be it resolved that the Macomb County Farm Bureau opposes any regulation of CO2 under the Clean Air Act without conclusive scientific evidence indicating that human activities are contributing to climate change. Furthermore, we oppose any carbon based cap and trade system that might be implemented to regulate CO2 emissions.