Sen. Hune’s bill to help farmers signed into law

LANSING —A measure designed to give farmers across Michigan more flexibility in paying taxes on agricultural real estate was signed into law Tuesday, said sponsor Sen. Joe Hune.

“When it comes to Michigan’s economy, agriculture is the second largest industry,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “As a farmer myself, I understand the impact that both large and small farms have across our state.”

Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed Senate Bill 634 into law as Public Act 57 of 2012.

According to Hune, the new law adds partnerships to the list of groups eligible to defer summer taxes on agricultural real estate until the following Feb. 15.

“I sponsored this common-sense measure because I believe that whether farmers are in a partnership or a limited liability company, they deserve more flexibility when it comes to paying their taxes,” Hune said.

Summer taxes come due when most farmers’ crops are still in the field. Hune’s measure allows these smaller farm operations to defer their taxes until February when they have actually been paid for their crops.

“Small business owners, like farmers, are the backbone of Michigan’s economy. That’s why my bill was approved unanimously by both the state Senate and the House of Representatives,” Hune said. “I’m glad this new law is on the books now. Michigan farmers are hard workers and should be treated fairly.”

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Share your love for reading

By Sen. Joe Hune

22nd Senate District

Every March young children and elementary school students across Michigan and the country celebrate the importance of reading during “March is Reading Month.”

Even in our fast-paced digital world, the old-fashioned and time-honored tradition of reading remains one of the best ways to prepare our children for academic success.

While it is crucial that our children learn how to use the latest technology, reading is still the foundation for success in school and in life. Children who are good readers get off to a good start in other subjects as well. On the other hand, students who cannot read well are more likely to struggle in school.

Parents and grandparents can help children improve their reading skills by encouraging the reading habit at every age. Educators suggest these family-friendly reading tips:

·         Read to your young child every day;

·         Give your child a “book allowance” for chores;

·         Help your child get a library card;

·         Create a special reading nook at home, a quiet place free of electronic distractions;

·         Give a book as a gift for birthdays and special occasions; and

·         READ! Let your child see how much you value reading.

In honor of March is Reading Month, bookmarks are available to schools and families who contact my Lansing office toll free at 1-855-JOE-Hune (1-855-563-4863).

Please, read to the children in your life this month and throughout the rest of the year. While it’s great we have March is Reading Month to remind us about the importance of reading, it’s something we should do all year long.

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Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.

Sen. Hune’s bill to save money, reduce judgeships signed into law

 

LANSING —A measure designed to save the state money by reducing the number of Michigan Court of Appeals judges was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder, said Sen. Joe Hune.

“With the decrease in Michigan’s population it makes sense to reduce the number of judges sitting on the Michigan Court of Appeals, especially if it can save the state money,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township.

Sponsored by Hune, Public Act 40 of 2012 (Senate Bill 849) enacts a four-district reapportionment plan for the Michigan Court of Appeals based on the new population data from the 2010 U.S. Census. The new law would reduce the number of judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals from 28 to 24.

The judgeships would be reduced in a district with more than six incumbent judges when a judge chooses not to run for re-election or cannot run for re-election due to age. Judges cannot run for re-election if they are over the age of 70.

“The Michigan Court of Appeals estimates that funding two judgeships for a full fiscal year costs the state $550,000. That means my measure will could help save the state $1.1 million a year,” Hune said. “I’m glad I was able to sponsor a fiscally responsible and common sense measure. Moreover, I’m happy to see Governor Snyder sign it into law.”

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Sen. Hune: IRS offers free online tax assistance, e-filing

 

LANSING — Residents of the 22nd Senate District earning $57,000 a year or less can take advantage of free tax preparation services available through the Internal Revenue Service Free File program, said Sen. Joe Hune.

“This fantastic program offers taxpayers a free way to e-file their taxes,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “E-filing is a faster, simpler way to file your federal taxes. I’m glad the IRS makes this service available to taxpayers.”

Taxpayers with a 2011 adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less can use www.IRS.govto prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. The service is made possible through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of industry-leading tax software companies.

Since its inception in 2003, IRS Free File has offered taxpayers free access to leading commercial tax preparation software.

To begin, taxpayers should visit the IRS Free File website—www.IRS.gov—andclick on the “Free File” icon on the right side of the screen. Users can access a list of Free File Alliance member companies and either choose the one that fits their needs, or utilize the “help me find a company” tool. After selecting a tax software company, users will be transferred to the company's website to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns. The service is also available in Spanish.

“IRS Free File makes tax time simple, fast and free for 70 percent of Americans,” said Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance. “For 10 years, the Free File Alliance has partnered with the IRS to give taxpayers access to leading online tax preparation software and critical step-by-step support. This year, we invite every taxpayer making $57,000 or less to join the 33 million Americans who have already saved time and money by using IRS Free File.”

Free File Alliance member companies have continually worked with the IRS to strengthen the Free File program, and taxpayers report that it is user-friendly and efficient. Responding to a 2009 IRS survey, 98 percent of users said they would recommend the program to others.

About the Free File Alliance
The Free File Alliance, a coalition of 14 industry-leading tax software companies, has partnered with the IRS since 2003 to help low- and middle-income Americans prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns online. The Free File Alliance is committed to giving 70 percent of Americans free access to the industry’s top online tax preparation software. More than 33 million returns have been filed through IRS Free File since its inception. For more information, visit www.freefilealliance.org.

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Sen. Hune returns more than $6,900 to state

 

LANSING— State Sen. Joe Hune announced that during his first year as a senator, he was able to save more than $6,900 in his office and committee budgets by being fiscally responsible.

“The best way to help change the culture in Lansing is to lead by example,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “As a fiscal conservative, I believe it is important to make sure every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely. We shouldn’t spend money simply because we have it, but rather because there is a need to do so.”

In 2011, Hune returned $6,967.06 to the state from his office and committee budgets. Hune chairs the Senate Agriculture, Senate Insurance and the Senate Redistricting committees.

“As chair of three Senate committees, it is my duty to demonstrate true fiscal responsibility,” Hune said.  “I am committed to doing my part to help reduce the cost of government and look forward to working with my colleagues to get Michigan back on the path to financial prosperity.”

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