Read our words: No new taxes

More than $1 billion for road repairs. That’s what Gov. Rick Snyder asked for in his 2013 State of the State address.
Feb 14, 2013

 

Some Republican senators took on his challenge and devised some foolhardy proposals that could have far-reaching ill effects for this state.

The first among them is a proposed increase of the state sales tax to 8 percent from the current 6 percent. If approved, this state would have the highest sales tax in the country.

Then there’s Senate Bill 87, which could essentially raise the tax on a gallon of gasoline to 74 cents, also the highest in the nation. New York’s gas tax is now No. 1 in the country at 67.4 cents per gallon.

Filling up at the gas station is already a misadventure in accounting for many households across the state. Tacking on even more taxes would deplete drivers’ pockets to new lows.

The next two bills — SB 88 and SB 86 — would increase the cost of vehicle registration taxes by about 80 percent and then keep the rates high. This means that the owner of a car with a list price of $20,000 would pay $176 per year to register it, whereas they previously paid $98.

The second measure would prevent the car owner’s annual registration fee from being rolled back each year as the car’s value decreases. That one would mean the car owner would have to pay the $176 each year until the car is at least a decade old before there’d be a rollback.

The second measure alone is estimated to squeeze another $64 million per year out of vehicle owners in this state.

Both of the senators who proposed these measures are clearly out of touch with reality.

Here’s the reality: Michigan has suffered great losses in the Great Recession. Many of its cities — Detroit prime among them — have sustained mass exodus as jobs have shriveled up.

Just now, in the past year, have there been hopeful signs of a gradually recovering economy.

To propose such heavy taxation on a fragile populace is beyond idiotic. It would be absolute folly for Michigan to gain notoriety in the United States as having the highest sales tax, the highest gasoline tax, or even as having among the highest car insurance rates or vehicle registration taxes.

If these proposals are approved, they would make it more difficult to live here, travel here or do business here.

These short-sighted measures would ensure that the flood gates would again be reopened, and the population and business would be headed toward the exit door.

We demand that our legislators find a way to live within the state’s means without imposing outrageous additional taxes. For our future and security, we must resist new taxes.

Just say no.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

Vladtheimp

Agreed! Instead of eliminating government waste, such as requiring competitive bidding for transportation projects without requiring bidders to pay "prevailing wages" (union scale), and awarding contracts to the low responsive and responsible bidder, the politicians want to extort more money from their Subjects - "hand over your wallets or I'll shoot your shocks and suspensions."

In lieu of the stupid proposals from the legislators, I have a better idea: (1) have an unbiased, independent study of whether we really need more than $1 Billion to address road issues; (2) Require the smartest and toughest Nerd in the World to establish a website that lists the 10 programs the state spends the most money on, with the actual funds expended, and allow the citizens to vote either (1)cutting programs, or portions of programs, by an amount sufficient to meet the actual funding needed to address the road problems, or (2) raise taxes and fees to get the money. I think the results would be be illuminating!

Lanivan

2.) Gov Snyder does have a ShareOpinion website where you can, well, share your opinion. He and his staff are responsive to the comments that are posted.

https://somgovweb.state.mi.us/Go...

Vladtheimp

Thanks! Followed your suggestion.

BTL2A

The state needs money for more repairs from all those extra cars on the road from all the jobs created by cutting the business tax.

davewali

This governor has shown he will charge the citizens, aka the voters, for anything and everything....and do everything possible to relieve the business community from any and all possible costs. He is showing that he exemplifies the best of both parties.
Lower wages, lower business taxes....the Republican dream. Higher taxes and fees...the Democratic dream. But we get more JOBS....(supposedly)...BOTH parties dream.

Sometimes it seems he wants to attract business, and chase the citizens away. Too many of the idiots in the Legislature agree.
They should look at their paycheck. I don't know what name signs it, but it is the CITIZENS who pay it. Think about US, for a change.

Lanivan

How interesting our legislators are scrambling for revenue for the basics - road repair - in 2013, when this is the year the full effects of the 2011 slashing of the Corporate tax rate will be felt.

No longer enamored with tax incentives, they chose instead to slash the Corporate tax rate by 86%, with revenues of $2.1 billion in FY 2011 projected to fall to $292.7 million in FY 2013.

Great for major corporations, not so good for the rest of us taxpayers now that we need money to fix roads.

Vladtheimp

To the best of my knowledge, maintenance of the state roads is funded by the gas tax and various motor vehicle fees and licenses - not from the taxes corporations pay. Although this discussion provided you an opportunity to rail against "slashing" the corporate tax rate, while ignoring how this is bringing business and jobs back to Michigan, it has nothing to do with the issue of funding road maintenance.

"You never want a serious crisis go to waste" [without the insertion of liberal talking points]- eh Rhamivan?

Lanivan

"Some Republican senators took on his challenge and devised some foolhardy proposals that could have far-reaching ill effects for this state.

The first among them is a proposed increase of the state sales tax to 8 percent from the current 6 percent. If approved, this state would have the highest sales tax in the country."

There was almost universal interest in abolishing the MBT and replacing it with a Corporate Flat tax rate - but an 86% drop to 6%? Why not institute a 7.5% rate, with another decrease to be assessed in, say, 4 years? This would undercut our neighbors Illinois (9.5%) and Indiana (8%), and still be attractive to businesses. It would seem to me to be more prudent than, again, the big rush to clone Michigan into one of the southern states that enjoy Corporate rates of 5%, or less, and also have the lowest rates of literacy, public health, etc in the union.

This sure looks like the slick shifting of the tax burden from businesses to individuals to me. Of course, Michigan needs to competitively entice business to invest in and remain here, but our legislators could have been a bit more prudent with their percentages and still achieved the desired results. Of course, the assumption is that this was the desired result which, in lieu of this recent proposal to increase the sales tax from 6% to 8%, now seems to be a bit nebulous.

As for tax cuts leading to job creation, we've been told that for the past 30 years, and look how that worked out. And Michigan business leaders recently wrote a letter to Gov Snyder encouraging him to maintain high standards of education funding, as they see a lack of a well-educated labor force as a bigger problem than their tax rate. Have you found any information on how many businesses/jobs have been brought back to Michigan as a direct result of the 6% Corporate tax rate?

Appears you are still reading that Genghis Khan biography, eh Vlad?

Vladtheimp

So, again, what does all the smog about the corporate tax rate have to do with the transportation funding, which is the focus of the story?

Lanivan

Good point. Perhaps the focus of the story, which has very little to do with transportation funding, should have been the shifting of the tax burden from businesses to individuals. Or wealth disparity continues to escalate to record-breaking highs. And there's your personal favorite - maybe due to the logistical component - another example of wealth redistribution.

BBoatman

Hey Gov. Why not install some toll boths on the Indiana borders? We could use some help from out of state commerce & vacationers who help deteriorate our roads!

mikedv23

"If these proposals are approved, they would make it more difficult to live here, travel here or do business here." Paying for decent roads actually makes it easier to travel here and do business here. It's called an investment, and I'm glad that the Governor is brave enough to tackle the issue and not shy away from it. Providing a transportation system is a basic function of government, and we are currently trying to do it with less gas tax revenue than in 1997. Those that bash tax increases to pay for better roads never have an alternative concrete (pardon the pun) idea to fund what is such an obvious need.

BTL2A

Don't pay progressive wages.

BTL2A

Prevailing wage.. I swear apple just tries to mess with me occasionally.

 

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