Michigan Senate votes to change fees for private harbors

Sep 7, 2017

Credit Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

A divided Michigan Senate has voted to reduce state fees assessed on homeowners with wave-reducing breakwalls in the Great Lakes. The Republican sponsor of a bill approved Wednesday says it would protect people from government "overreach" and cut payments that can reach $1,000 a year.

A Democratic opponent says existing fees are reasonable because the bottomlands are owned by the public and permanent structures in the water can negatively impact aquatic ecosystems and neighboring shoreline property.

The legislation won approval 26-12, almost entirely along party lines in the GOP-led Senate. It next goes to House for consideration. Gov. Rick Snyder last year vetoed a bill that would have cut the fees. But Sen. Tom Casperson says he has worked out an agreement with Snyder's administration.