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 email@example.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.