Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bipartisanship at its worst - Gas Tax

It seems whenever there has been bipartisanship, I get reminded of a scene from the movie Animal House. "Assume the position" followed by "Thank you sir, may I have another!" The Free Press tells us the latest bad news.

In other words, hold on to your wallets. The latest push is for the worst type of tax around - the gasoline tax. It's proposed in the name of road construction, but who is to say that this is where the money is going to go. General Fund? That's not counting the fact that our gas prices are high enough as it is.

Fuel tax picks up steam
2 lawmakers to offer plan
April 3, 2007

BY DAWSON BELL

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A new push to fix Michigan roads and transportation infrastructure by raising fuel taxes is expected to be announced at the Capitol today.

State Reps. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, and Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, have scheduled a news conference this afternoon to launch the proposal that would, among other things, raise the state's gas tax by 9 cents over three years. The current state tax is 19 cents per gallon.

7 comments:

Curley Sue said...

Mr. DeRoche must be feeling safe. Let's show him we aren't going to tolerate no new taxes. Gas tax gets computed on top of tax. We're taxing people right out of our State. Can anyone just live within their means like the ordinary citizens have to do?? Where do the taxes we already pay for road construction go?? Gee, this is getting maddening.

WCTaxpayers said...

We at the Wayne County Taxpayers Association in conjunction with Michigan Taxpayers Alliance are attempting to negotiate DeRoche's release. Please see the press release below.

"Release DeRoche!!! State Rep. captured by pro-tax terrorists!
Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Demands DeRoche be Released!

The Michigan Taxpayers Alliance today called for the immediate,
unconditional release of House Republican Leader Craig DeRoche.

Whoever has captured Representative DeRoche is forcing him to make videos
and radio talk show appearances in which he is made to express support for a
nine cent increase in Michigan's gas tax. These terrorists must be caught
and punished, MTA Executive Director Leon Drolet demanded,.DeRoche, who
held overall state spending below the rate of inflation for the two years he
served as House Speaker, would never willingly support such a ill-timed and
unnecessary tax hike. We should not negotiate with DeRoche's captors,
Drolet went on to say. Michigan citizens are being crushed by our state's
economic stagnation. Nine cents more for gas would make Michigan the sixth
highest gas tax in the country.

Drolet advocates road spending reform, Michigan drivers already watch the
federal government ship part of the taxes Michigan pays to fund road
improvements to other states. On top of that, up to ten percent of the
existing state gas tax is siphoned off to fund empty busses and crazy ~light
rail schemes that even government studies have determined few would use.
Michigan's prevailing wage laws ensure that building roads in Michigan is as
expensive as possible, and mandated minority contracting preferences ensure
that the lowest qualified bidder is not always awarded road contracts.
Furthermore, Governor Granholm's existing Fix it First policy focuses tax
dollars on roads in places she wishes people still lived instead of where they DO live.

Once DeRoche is found and released, he can return to fighting for reform of
how our existing gas taxes are misspent,Drolet concluded."

We hope that we may be able to save him before he is brainwashed by the taxspenders in Lansing. If not he will have to be sacraficed with the rest.

Keith Richards said...

Wayne County Taxpayers, well written. You should also mention that Michigan is one of the few states that charges sales tax on gas in addition to a road tax, and I've noticed the media NEVER mentions this in news stories.

I'm glad you brought up the point about a portion of the gas tax being diverted for public transportation. This has long been a sore point with me. Liberals keep telling us how great public transportation is. But if public transportation is so great and driving is so bad, why is it that car drivers have to subsidize public transportation? Charge enough to cover the full cost of buses and trains and lets see how many people choose to ride rather than drive.

Pogo said...

Quote from an article in Wednesday's (4-4-07) Detroit News

'Critics of the plan said it would hurt consumers and noted that while Michigan has a lower gas tax than 33 states, it's one of just a handful of states to charge a sales tax on gas. They said Michigan would have the nation's second-highest combined gas taxes and registration fees if the proposal becomes law.'

So if this increase becomes law, only one other state will be placing a heavier burden on car owners than Michigan.

The sales tax was raised to 6% from 4% in the 90's to offset the lower property taxes under prop A, but property taxes have shot up and are once again higher than in most other states PLUS we STILL have the higher sales tax.

And don't forget that Democrats want to increase the income tax.

Democrats have only been in power since January and their only solution to fixing Michigan's dead economy is to try and make Michigan's taxes and fees #1 in the U.S. It is no wonder that so many educated and skilled people are leaving Michigan and with leadership like this the outward flow will only increase.

Keith Richards said...

It looks like the Senate is our only hope for stopping this.

Maybe the Senate should attach a bunch of "poison pill" provisions to make the Democrats reject the increase.

First, they could attach a requirement that gas tax money be moved into a dedicated fund that is outside of the general budget and which could only be used for road building/road repair. Not for anything else, including public transportation. If they want to fund public transportation let them do it out of the general budget.

Second, eliminate the "prevailing wage" law (which few other states have) that requires road contractors to pay high union wages rather than competitive wages. Also scuttle the law that lets minority firms win contracts with non-competitive bids.

Third, create a formula which requires road money to be spread more evenly around Michigan rather than spending nearly all of it in the Detroit area. Everyone in Michigan pays road taxes and it is unfair that only a small geographic region benefits from this money.

Forth, eliminate the sales tax on gasoline, or else require that it go into the road fund. At $2.50 per gallon, that would be an extra 15 cents for road repair for every gallon purchased.

The Democrats are always telling Republicans that we need to compromise. OK, lets see how they like the idea of compromising on some of their sacrad cows.

wizardofsnog said...

I have an idea. Lets do a proposition that places a 30 percent surcharge, fee, or tax on the pay of every member of the state congress for each new tax proposal they propose, to be taken out of their paychecks. Maybe then THEY will FEEL our pain.

Or maybe we need to sue these people for abuse and misuse of the public trust and the public purse. They obivously are not using our money the way it was supposed to be used and are wasting it on paying off those who they THINK elected them.

Last one out of michigan, set the self distruct to 30 seconds. Wait, nevermind, I see there won't be any need for the self destruct, because the government would have already destroyed this once great state.

Bachbone said...

The bill also, as I understood news reports, raises vehicle registration fees 50%. It raises the tax on diesel fuel, too. I guess we can expect to see a lot more round-a-bouts soon.