Issues & Ideas Luncheon, March 2004

Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is pleased to host monthly Issues & Ideas Luncheons in Lansing. These luncheons, which feature experts on a diverse array of subjects, offer a forum that enhances and broadens the policy debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals—and suggestions for achieving them.

Legislative staff, policy specialists, and other interested friends are cordially invited to our


"The Taxing Power of Michigan’s Drain Code"


Sue Julian
Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) Board Member
Founder, Michigan Drain Code Coalition


Tuesday, March 9, 2004


12:00 - 1:15 p.m.


The Mackinac Room, 5th Floor
House Office Building
124 North Capitol, Lansing


Lunch is provided at no charge,
with reservation.

Sue Julian is a self described “Housewife from Holly,” but when it comes to a Michigan Drain Code, she is the “woman who knows what's going on.” Ms. Julian believes that most legislators do not understand a drain code bill now pending before the Senate, and will be surprised should its provisions slam constituents with huge new property tax assessments.

A member of the Board of the Michigan Environmental Council, Ms. Julian became interested in the drain code when a local conservancy purchased a woodlot with unique conservation value, then was forced to pay for a drain diminishing that value. Although environmental concerns are her passion, Sue Julian is trusted by taxpayer advocates for her sensitivity to the tax consequences of this issue.

The 1956 drain code grants extraordinary taxing power to drain commissioners. There have been several recent attempts to update it, and each time Ms. Julian has been on the forefront of efforts to protect the property rights and pocketbooks of property owners.

Ms. Julian contends that municipalities want to get “off the hook” in paying for new federal stormwater management mandates, and harnessing the unconstrained taxing power of drain commissioners might be how they do it. At Tuesday’s luncheon she will explain what you should know about the Drain Code’s tax issues, and the principles that should guide any update.

The luncheon begins promptly at 12:00 noon. Please make reservations for yourself and any guests by noon on March 8, 2004, by calling the Mackinac Center at (989) 631-0900 or send your e-mail to:

The Purpose of the Issues & Ideas Luncheon
The nature of the legislative process is such that public policy debates are often framed by specific constituencies and political pragmatism rather than sound principles. By offering a forum for wide-ranging discussion, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy hopes to broaden the debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals—and how to achieve them. The best interests of Michigan citizens can only be served when legislation incorporates our best understanding of legal, economic, psychological, moral and scientific principles.


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