Governor Snyder is attempting to resuscitate his reputation by benevolently raising your taxes.
Our ace Governor is not going quietly into the night as his governorship slides into the twilight zone. He launched two tax proposals last week which he touted as environmental initiatives. Neither raises enough funds to even remotely achieve his stated environmental objectives, unless the taxes he proposed skyrocket in the future. Both proposals are actually designed to expand our hopelessly inept (and periodically corrupt) bureaucracy. The environmental angle is just eyewash to sell higher taxes to the gullible. And those tax rates he proposes will skyrocket – bet on it.
Governor Snyder implies in his press release that his proposed tipping tax increase will diminish Michigan’s solid waste imports from his Canadian buddies; the ones who are building his bridge. It won’t. Ontario landfill tipping fees start at $ 75 CAD per metric ton ($ 55 USD per short ton). Comparable Michigan landfill tipping fees are in the low $ 30 USD range. Snyder would have to raise the Michigan tipping tax by $ 25 USD, not the $ 4.39 he proposes, to materially reduce Canadian solid waste exports to Michigan. Keep in mind that the Canadians will ignore their transportation costs; they need to feed tolls to that fancy new bridge as cross border truck traffic otherwise declines. Our Canadian neighbors didn’t pay for the Gordie Howe Bridge out of the goodness of their hearts. It was cheaper politically than opening land fills.
A tipping tax which would actually impact Canadian trash exports would wipe out Michigan land fills and their workers. And all of our solid waste would be exported to other states, making Michigan many new friends across the Midwest. Yet tipping tax proponents will imply that the tipping tax increase will curtail Canadian trash exports to Michigan.
Detroit Water & Sewerage Division Has Colluded With Trial Lawyers To Avoid A Constitutional Test Of Their Outrageous 'Stormwater Fee'
The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department’s Non Residential Drainage Rate became a political hot potato in 2013 when the City finally started applying this breathtaking, disguised tax to all non residential properties within the City. Mayor Duggan is scraping the bottom of the barrel for every revenue dollar he can find.
Prior to 2013, the City of Detroit only extracted this rate from 12,000 non residential property owners, although 41,237 non residential property owners should have been paying it. They also extracted this rate from the State of Michigan and Wayne County for roads in Detroit, after a lengthy appeals process which ended in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Detroit shielded politically preferred and connected property owners from this tax for 35 years, notably the politically powerful black churches. But that ended in 2013 when the City of Detroit “discovered….that there are some errors with respect to our billing of stormwater charges”.
This rate, which is often referred to as a stormwater fee or the rain tax, is not inconsequential. It is now $ 660 – $ 750 per acre, per month. Run of the mill churches with on site parking were rudely surprised with $ 3,500 monthly charges in 2015, on top of their already expensive water bills. They thought as religious entities they were tax exempt. Tee-hee. No one in Michigan is truly tax exempt! Michigan Public Act 178 of 1939 (MCL 123.161 et seq.) converts unpaid DW&SD stormwater fees into a property lien, same as unpaid property taxes, so these fees quickly result in property foreclosures.
Ever wonder why Detroit has such a problem with commercial property blight? Now church blight is in the offing.
Non residential property owners in Detroit have just received a legal notice in the mail announcing a proposed settlement of a Wayne County Circuit Court class action case filed by Michigan Warehousing Group LLC and Midwest Valve and Fitting Company against the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department over the DW&SD’s outrageous stormwater fee. This case is identified in the Wayne County Circuit Court as 15-010165-CZ. The parties reached a settlement agreement which is carefully constructed to cripple legal challenges to the constitutionality of the stormwater fee in higher courts and handsomely pay off the trial bar.
The settlement notice fails to inform non residential property owners that another, far more comprehensive class action law suit is progressing in the Michigan Court of Appeals.Detroit Alliance Against The Rain Tax v. City Of Detroit in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Case Number 339176, just got consolidated with a similar suit on 24 October and appears ready for litigation – also as a class action.
Making The Democratic Process In Michigan Just A Little Bit Less Democratic With A 21st Century Poll Tax
Representatives Steve Marino, Tommy Brann, Julie Calley, Kimberly LaSata, and Jim Lillyhave just introduced six bills, HB 4745 to HB 4750, to increase filing fees for various down ballot political offices across the State of Michigan by 50% to 300%. These are the fees prospective candidates can pay to get on the ballot in lieu of filing nominating petitions.
As you might expect, the highest (300%) filing fee increase proposed applies to candidates for State Representative (and Senator).
The kicker here? The filing fee is also no longer refunded to the runner up. So running for political office in Michigan just became more expensive exclusive.
And no. I don’t mean that thing where we exercise out "right" to set off large quantities of fireworks next month.
Last weekend, I spent some time with some friends who now live out of town.
We did the “usual touristy” things like Greektown and the Casinos.
They wanted me to go with them to the Grand Prix, but I’m more of a NASCAR Guy than IndyCar.
Afterwards, I insisted on changing things up and that we go down to Lafayette to eat.
I told them that it was part of the “Authentic Detroit” dining experience and that sort of thing.
They had never been down there and after initially scarring the hell out of them (along with equally confusing them with how the food was ordered/delivered), they settled down a bit and we started to catch up on things. They began to comment on local stuff, basically regurgitating what people like Gov. Snyder, et al, were shoveling to the rest of the country about how things have turned around since the bankruptcy.
I laughed at their comments and replied to the effect that, “Yeah! They wish!”
“Look at all of this new stuff downtown? How can you argue that things aren’t better?”, they replied.
I told them that “Yes”, the Downtown Area has improved. Large amounts of government money tends to eventually do that. “Yes” places like the Riverfront have gotten nicer.
But then I added, the same cannot be said for the rest of the city.
They didn’t believe me.
They couldn’t accept the fact that everything was as bad as I told them it was.
I told them, “Fine, want to go on a little trip?”
They were a little apprehensious to say the least, but we loaded up into their car and we went happy motoring…away from the freeways.
We went up and down places like Jefferson, and then Warren and Mack where it didn’t take that long to notice the large swaths of bombed out/burned out neighborhoods (at least I think they were neighborhoods at one time), large piles of trash and abandoned/stolen vehicles (along with boats…yes boats) strewn about, pretty much every other building covered with graffiti, I told my now visibly scared “driver” that I wanted to stop at the next party store because I wanted to get something to drink.
Yes, I did that on purpose.
So, while we parked across the street and started walking towards the party store, I got bombarded with a ton of questions (besides is this really safe) like why that particular store had a chain-link fence around the roof topped with razor wire, why there were thick metal plate doors next to the entrance and why was there a flashing green light on the sign outside of the building. When we went inside, they did a double-take at the walkway surrounding most of the perimeter of the inside of the building separated by 1-inch thick Lexan.
I casually grabbed a 2-liter of Rock N’ Rye, they didn’t get anything (I cannot imagine why) and we went back to their car. I still had more to show them.
Continuing our “tour”, they still couldn’t get over the flashing strobe light on the sign.
Weaver/McCormick Flint-GLWA Deal Transforms Water From Obscene Tax To Outright Theft
Flint Mayor Karen I Love Rizzo Weaver and Great Lakes Water Authority CEO Sue McCormick have reached a 30 year deal for Flint to purchase water from the Great Lakes Water Authority. The City of Flint had signed up to purchase its water from the nascent Karegnondi Water Authority in March 2013 and the State of Michigan concurred in April. Everyone in Flint City government, save one councilman, has agreed to source Flint’s water from the KWA. Even Mayor Weaver. Until this week.
The Weaver/McCormick deal has GLWA paying Flint at least $ 7 million a year to cover Flint’s share of the bonds issued to finance the KWA. A total of $ 210 million over the 30 year contact period.
Where will that $ 210 million come from? GLWA is not the Federal Reserve, they cannot just create money out of thin air. GLWA will extract the money from the victims ratepayers in the other communities it ‘serves’.
Mayor Weaver and CEO McCormick will transform GLWA water rates into yet another exaction imposed upon most of Southeastern Michigan to subsidize Flint. Without any input from those victims ratepayers. A blatant fee as taxevasion of Headlee. Governor Snyder, of course, approves wholeheartedly.
This is government theft, Headlee evasion, and a rich fount of future corruption.
Sure, the road tax puts us at the most expensive gas tax level in the country. And because of the idiocy of OUR large groups in Lansing, it even protects itself for inflation! But even so, our absurd taxation scheme has been relegated to second place in absurd tax schemes.
If Michigan were to follow the lead of Philadelphia (which I think could somehow happen), every six pack of coke 16.9oz bottles would have $1.52 tacked on. Every Pepsi 8 pack would have $2.03 added on.
Traverse City enables more cronyism in its latest money grab.
Does a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) scheme really work?
It seems that each year, special TIF districts are set up throughout our state in order to promote growth or development of a particular economy or industry. The revenues raised through a TIF scheme are theoretically targeted, specifically for the district raising the value of that district over a specified period of time.
But does it work well enough and is it worth the effort, and goodwill lost, as it continues to be abused by those who hold the authority? As voters look at the millage requests on the ballot, they now see the language that reminds them that not-all-of their voted in millage will go where it is intended.
With Michigan's upcoming confiscatory registration hikes, its time! - Save 20% by renewing early.
Michigan vehicle owners can renew their registrations up to 6 months ahead of time.
If your tabs are going to be due from now till June, its time to act to save a few bucks. Using Express SOS, you can avoid the 20% markup this year that our tax hungry legislature and governor have in store as-of Jan 1, 2017.
Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds was charged with bribery Thursday, in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan. Rizzo Environmental Services allegedly paid Reynolds $ 50,000 – $ 70,000 in cash for his vote and influence on an $18 million, 10 year garbage collection contract. Reynolds is also alleged to have received free legal services from a Rizzo connected attorney in his divorce case.
The Free Press reports that the “FBI’s years-long investigation is expected to trigger criminal charges against numerous politicians in towns and cities across Macomb County who engaged in pay-to-play schemes with various developers and businesses. The Clinton Township case, sources said, is just the tip of the iceberg and numerous more charges will follow.”
Rizzo Environmental Services is under contract in a lot of communities outside of Macomb County in Michigan. Who else have they bribed?