Hansen bill would encourage growth in Michigan wine industry

Sen. Goeff Hansen

Sen. Goeff Hansen

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen has introduced legislation that would expand the number of Michigan wineries that can sell their product at farmers markets.

Senate Bill 1071 would enable small wine makers to produce up to 15,000 gallons of wine or hard cider per year and still qualify for these markets.

“Farmers market sales permits have aided the rise of many Michigan wineries,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “As this industry continues to grow, so too should the availability of these farmers market permits. Increasing the accessibility of this marketing opportunity will help these small businesses to thrive and contribute to our economy.”

Currently, if a small wine maker produces less than 5,000 gallons a year, they qualify for the sales permit, enabling them to sell their wine or hard cider at farmers markets.

Increasing the current threshold to 15,000 gallons will make approximately 50 more wineries across the state eligible for a farmers market permit.

“Fortunately, more wineries are reaching the 5,000 gallon limit,” Hansen said. “This bill will allow them to maintain market access as they produce more wine.”

The lawmaker said small wine maker permits are a valuable tool enabling wineries and cider makers to build relationships with their communities and establish their brand.

SB 1071 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform.

Hansen bill would provide tax relief to Michigan municipalities

Sen. Goeff Hansen

Sen. Goeff Hansen

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Goeff Hansen introduced legislation on Tuesday that would provide tax relief to Michigan municipalities.

Senate Bill 1042 would repeal the homestead property tax exemption for disabled veterans and replace it with a credit on the homestead property tax.

“Current law provides our disabled veterans with significant and much-needed financial relief, but at the expense of local units of government, which are required to incur any revenue loss,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “This tax credit will continue to provide our disabled veterans with tax relief, while also giving local leaders the resources they need to govern their communities effectively.”

Hansen said that under current law, real property used as the homestead of an eligible disabled veteran is exempt from property taxes. With more than 10,000 exemptions currently being claimed in Michigan — a higher utilization of the exemption than expected — communities with large populations of eligible disabled veterans are facing significant financial losses.

“It is good that we provide this tax relief to disabled veterans, but the expense should be borne by the state, not local units of government,” Hansen said. “These local revenue losses represent money that could have been designated for infrastructure improvements or public safety.”

SB 1042 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.