Apr 30 2014

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Taxes,Taxes and More Taxes!

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” John Marshall ~ McCullough v. Maryland — 1819

“The power to tax is the power to destroy.” Ronald Reagan ~ Address to the Nation on Tax Reform, May 28, 1985

(If you drive a car, car)
I’ll tax the street
(If you try to sit, sit)
I’ll tax your seat
(If you get too cold, cold)
I’ll tax the heat
(If you take a walk, walk)
I’ll tax your feet

‘Cause I’m the taxman
Yeah, I’m the taxman

“Taxman” by the Beatles



Mission statment here if it works

Michigan Citizens,

When will Republicans in Lansing stop colluding with Democrats to pass new taxes?! Republicrats

Republicans were swept into office in 2010 in historical numbers largely due to the Tea Party.

We reasonably expect them to be accountable to a platform of low taxes and less government. And to no  expansion of government power WITHOUT public input and transparency.

Unfortunately, once again we see in most of these transportation bills that the Republican platform (which is supposed to be Conservative in nature)  is being swept under the rug


It’s up to YOU, the already overburdened taxpayer to let your Rep know your displeasure,

NO New Taxes!

NO expansion of government power WITHOUT public input and transparency.

There are ways to fix Michigan’s roads without new taxes and government expansion.

For example, warranties on road construction and sales tax on gas going to roads.

Yesterday was the first Committee Meetings on a number of bills. We need to be pro-active as groups and associations in favor of tax increases were out in force testifying. Most people work during the day and can not attend them meetings so that is why its critical for you to call your Rep and if possible e-mail members of the Committee.

 It is also critical to monitor how your Rep does vote. Primaries are coming up

If YOUR Rep is one of those who voted for the Medicaid Expansion  and votes for these unnecessary tax increases and or expansion of government power than that’s just another good reason to remove them and replace them with those who support a limited government platform in the upcoming Primaries. ALL Reps that are not term-limited and running are up for reelection

Excessive taxation…will carry reason and reflection to every man’s door, and particularly in the hour of election.” Thomas Jefferson ~ letter to John Taylor — 1798


Below is a brief Summation of the Bills and Contact Information for your House Rep and House Transportation Committee members


HB 5477 (Rep. VerHeulen -R) Transportation; motor fuel tax; motor fuel tax; modify.

This is a wholesale tax of 6% on suppliers

They may say its not really a tax, it is “revenue neutral” and it is… until gas hits $3.56 however, when that happens the tax readjusts to 6.3%

And of course when suppliers are taxed who do they pass the costs down to?!

But its not just gas it also effects

(h) “Heating oil” means a motor fuel including dyed diesel

fuel that is burned in a boiler, furnace, or stove for heating,

agricultural, or industrial processing purposes.

So senior citizens on fixed incomes are being taxes to stay warm!


HB 4925   (Rep. Lane -D) Transportation; other; public-private partnerships; allow the state transportation department to enter into.

Giving MDOT draconian planetary power, allow MDOT to charge UNDEFINED user fees at will

In testimony yesterday a spokesperson for the National Motorist Association commented:

Transportation Test.BIGTrans. Test. 2 BIGTo read the entire letter click HERE

Apparently, HB 4925 is a backdoor attempt WITHOUT public input for toll roads! Fits right in with Obama’s plans!

White House opens door to tolls on interstate highways, removing
long-standing prohibition


“With pressure mounting to avert a transportation funding crisis this
summer, the Obama administration Tuesday opened the door for states to
collect tolls on interstate highways to raise revenue for roadway
The proposal, contained in a four-year, $302 billion White House
transportation bill, would reverse a long-standing federal prohibition
on most interstate tolling…
The Washington Post”

Sometimes they try to say (despite what the bill says) that there are federal limitations that would protect us. This is lip service, as the federal government is getting ready to change those limitations. And this bill might not just be about revenue for roads. Courts have found that states are free to use tolls in any way they want. Short of dedicating the money to roads in their constitutions, States can use tolls for the road being tolled, use the tolls for a road on the other side of the state, use the tolls for high speed rail costs, or use the tolls for schools, etc.. This is therefore NOT a user fee 99% of the time.

It is also not about money but also about control.

On a limited scale that means high occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV), and on a large scale it means congestion based pricing where the amount of a toll changes based on the section of road, day of the week, time of the day, and even how much other traffic is by you at the time (meaning you have no way of knowing your ultimate rate until you are already on that road driving). It is all about discouraging driving through either cost or hassle, and getting folks to use high speed rail, buses, or bikes instead.”


HB 4630 (Rep. McCready-R)  Vehicles; registration; registration fees; modify.

House Bill 4630 (H-2) and House Bill 4632 (H-2) are tie barred to each other.

Own an RV? Lots of people do. I do. A trailer has one time permanent registration tax. Not if this bill passes.

Section 801(1)(g) – Trailers

Section 801(1)(l) of current law establishes a weight-based schedule for trailers, including pole trailers, semitrailers, and trailer coaches.  Under current law,absent a change in ownership, trailer registrations are effectively “permanent.”

House Bill 4632 (H-2) indicates that trailer plates issued prior to the effective date of the enacted bill would expire 10 years after the effective date of the enacted bill.  Plates issued after the effective date of the enacted bill would expire 3 years after the date of issuance. The bill indicates that registration plates issued under the subdivision is not transferable.

The bill would change trailer registration tax rates as shown below:

Empty weights / Tax (Smaller trailers take the bigger tax hit)

Current law – Section 801(1)(l) 0 to 2,499 pounds…………………………… $ 75.00

House Bill 4632 $150.00

Current law 2,500 to 9,999 pounds………………………. 200.00

House Bill 4632 225.00

Current law 10,000 pounds and over……………………. 300.00

House Bill 4632  300.00

Have a historic vehicle?
House Bill 4630 (H-2) would increase the registration fee to $90.00 for both historic vehicle plates issued by the department and authentic registration plates, from $30.00 and $35.00, respectively.

Special Plates for Manufacturers, Transporters, Dealers

Section 803 currently provides for a $10.00 fee for each plate.

House Bill 4630 (H-2) would increase the plate fee under this section to $20.00.

Operator, Chauffeur, Minor Restricted [Driver's] Licenses

Under current law, the application fee for original operator’s licenses is $25.00 and for renewal operator’s licenses, $18.00.  However, if the operator’s license is expired at the time of renewal, the renewal fee is the same as the original fee, $25.00.  In effect, late renewals are subject to a $7.00 penalty.

House Bill 4630 (H-2) would increase baseline operator’s renewal fees from $18.00 to $25.00 – the same as original operator’s licenses – and would add a separate $10.00 late fee for renewal applications made after the license expiration date. And other tax increases

HB 5167 (Rep. Schmidt – R)  Transportation; funds; contracts entered into by state transportation departments and local road agencies; change bidding requirements and allow state transportation department to borrow money from local road agencies.

New authority with undefined terms and non-competitive bidding with what private contractors? Palm greasers?

 All construction projects of the department or a local road agency concerning highways, streets, roads, and bridges for construction or preservation as defined in Section 10c shall be performed by contract awarded by competitive bidding unless the department or the local road agency affirmatively finds that under the circumstances relating to those projects, some other method is in the public interest.

The term “award” with regard to contracts would appear to be specific to competitively bid contracts. It is not clear what the term “award” means with regard to projects performed under force account by local road agencies.

Authorize the department to enter into agreements with local road agencies or a private sector company to perform work on a highway, road, or street, including maintenance, engineering services, and the acquisition of right of way. The fiscal impact of the …proposed amendments to this subsection cannot be readily determined.

House Bill 5167′s proposed new Section 11, Subsection 10 would allow the department to borrow “unexpended” money from local road agencies. The fiscal impact of this new subsection cannot be determined at this time. The bill is permissive with regard to the department; it authorizes but does not require the department to borrow money from local

The bill does not indicate whether the loan program would be voluntary with respect to the local road agency


Other Transportation Bills

HB 5452    (Rep. McCready -R) Traffic control; traffic regulation; permit fees charged by state transportation department for vehicles excluding vehicle weight or size limits; modify.

House Bill 5452 would double MDOT oversize/overweight permit fees.

HB 5453 (Rep. Kosowski -D) Traffic control; traffic regulation; traffic fines for overweight and oversized vehicles; increase.

Generally speaking, the bills aim at providing higher civil fines for length, height, and weight violations

HB 5460  (Rep. Lauwers -R)   Highways; construction and repair; replacement warranties on road repairs; modify, and extend warranty requirement to local road agencies.

House Bill 5460 would amend Public Act 51 of 1951, the statute that governs the distribution of Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) revenue.  The bill would require the Michigan Department of Transportation, county road commissions, and cities and villages to “secure warranties for full replacement guarantee for construction and preservation projects.”  The bill would also require county road commissions and cities and villages to include warranty information in the biennial road or street reports required under Section 14 of Act 51.  Specifically, road commissions and cities and villages would be required to include a list of all road or street construction and preservation warranties, and indicate whether any of the listed warranties were redeemed.

HB 4251    (Rep. Cotter)    Counties; boards and commissions; requirement for competitive bidding by county road commissions on certain projects involving townships; provide for.

The bill would specify that if a township contributes 50% or more to the cost of a road project, the township board could, by resolution, require that the county road commission contract for the work on that road project through competitive bidding.  Under the bill, a county road commission would not be prohibited from submitting a competitive bid.

If a township board requires a county road commission to contract for work on a road project through competitive bidding, the county road commission would be required to submit both the competitive bid process to be used and the final contract for that project to the township board for approval.  Before the county road commission submitted the final contract for the road project to the township board for approval, the road commission would be required to submit to the township board a copy of each competitive bid it received for that road project.


House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Wayne Schmidt (R) Committee Chair, 104th District

Ben Glardon (R) Majority Vice-Chair, 85th District

Kevin Daley (R) 82nd District

Kurt Heise (R) 20th District

Bradford Jacobsen (R) 46th District

Margaret O’Brien (R) 61st District

Peter Pettalia (R) 106th District

Dan Lauwers (R) 81st District

Michael McCready (R) 40th District

Marilyn Lane (D) Minority Vice-Chair, 31st District

Scott Dianda (D) 110th District

David Rutledge (D) 54th District

Gretchen Driskell (D) 52nd District

Tom Cochran (D) 67th District

Charles Smiley (D) 50th District


Mary Lou Terrien, Committee Clerk

YOUR House Representative ~ Click HERE

Speaker of the House Rep. Jase Bolger Contact Information HERE
Gov. Snyder Contact Information HERE


Permanent link to this article: http://grassrootsmichigan.com/?p=4158

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