According to a 2018 study, Michigan state found that 368,000 rural residents lacked broadband access and faced higher costs for service, reported The Iosco County News-Herald. However, last Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed House Bill 4210, which would have given telecoms tax breaks to provide access to rural, underserved areas.
If passed, the bill would have allowed companies to exempt personal property taxes (by an unknown amount) on eligible broadband equipment if they received funding from certain government agencies. The News-Herald reported that the bill proposed cost coverage via the School Aid Fund, a taxpayer-backed initiative.
“I am grateful to have legislators with me in this fight, working to expand access to broadband,” Whitmer wrote. “Unfortunately, this bill falls short: It would cost schools millions without spurring high-speed broadband development.”
She added, “In fact, the bill’s target of 25 Mbps service would deliver a mere fraction of the speeds well in excess of 100 Mbps that U.S. broadband users have come to expect. If Michiganders are going to spend their hard-earned tax dollars to incentivize broadband development, it better be fast.”
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