The Michigan Townships Association (MTA) named Michigan Senators Darwin Booher (R-Osceola Twp.) and Tom Casperson (R-Wells Twp.) as recipients of MTA’s 2012 Legislator of the Year Award.
MTA honored the two northern Michigan state senators at its 60th annual statewide educational conference and expo in Detroit last January 24.
“Senators Darwin Booher and Tom Casperson have been long-time supporters of local government and were extremely instrumental in the passage of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) legislation, allowing townships to receive full and timely payments for state-owned properties,” said Larry Merrill, executive director of the Michigan Townships Association. “For 2012, we honored both senators as they were instrumental in the sponsorship and passage of legislation increasing the reimbursement to local governments for state-owned properties.”
Booher, elected to the Michigan Senate in November 2010, served three terms in the
Michigan House of Representatives and 28 years as Osceola Township supervisor and
assessor. In addition to sponsoring Public Act 604 requiring full PILT payments in a
timely manner, Booher sponsored Public Act 619 that changes the criteria for the
purchase of state-owned land and provides preference to projects or acquisitions within
a local government that supports the acquisition.
“I am truly honored to receive the Legislator of the Year award from the Michigan
Townships Association,” said Booher. “I appreciate this tribute most because it is in
recognition for doing what the people of Northern Michigan elected me to do: Making
state government more accountable to its residents. The state’s actions often directly
impact our local communities, and almost no organization understands this more than
In addition to sponsoring Public Act 603, which raised the reimbursement paid to local
government for state-owned tax-reverted properties from $2 to $4 per acre, Casperson
sponsored Public Act 240 and Public Act 622. Public Act 240 places a statewide cap on
the amount of land the state can own at 4.6 million acres. Public Act 622 alters procedures for state surplus land.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive the Michigan Townships Association’s Legislator of
the Year award,” said Casperson. “MTA plays a critical role in advocating for the voice
of local government, and working with MTA, we were able to make reforms that
provided fairness to local governments. With most of the state-owned land in Northern
Michigan, townships in that area face unique challenges, and by working with MTA, we
were able to educate legislators statewide on these issues to make effective, important
and long overdue changes.”
Casperson was also elected to the Michigan Senate in November 2010, after serving in
the Michigan House of Representatives for six years. He worked for 27 years in his family’s log trucking business, including 12 years as its owner and operator.