Did we just dodge another huge bullet here?

While I don’t agree with Oakland County Exec. L. Brooks Patterson on some things (okay…most things), kind of like a stopped clock, he finally got something right for a change.

According to The Detroit News, during his annual address to Oakland County last night, County Exec. Patterson came out whole-heartedly and unequivocally against the RTA Tax v 2.0.


Why should ANYONE be made to pay for something that they will not use?

No, the ballot proposal hasn’t officially been announced for the ‘18 General yet. My snitches tell me that they are still working out on how to best polish this heaping, steaming pile of bull droppings, without much success.

Good luck on that.

Citing the lack of hard facts from what those pulling the levers behind the scenes will actually do with the monies collected, much like one of the laundry-list of problems with the last proposal, County Exec. Patterson said this,

“… I can’t do it. I won’t do it,” he said to a standing ovation. “And I will never, ever betray the public trust I respect and represent.”

I should stress that County Exec. Patterson received a standing ovation from those in attendance during that particular portion of his speech.

This isn’t something that you get when, according to RTA tax supporters, people overwhelming support your plan.

Pay us so that we can placate the mass transit snowflakes by driving around town empty.

This should (hopefully, anyway), have some affect here in Macomb, where Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is also having some serious difficulty signing off on this.

And did I mention that the roads here in Southeastern Michigan look like the 107th used them for light target practice?

Fixing them takes money, too.

I’m not going to add anything more at this time due to the fact that my considerable folder on these con-artists just got a little bit bigger, and I’d like to keep my powder dry…just in case.

I will be adding more when this story unfolds.

Stay tuned.

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That Time Again

Small Business Owners get to beg off of paying the license fee for their business tools to the state.

Because the legislature has never been able to properly address crappy PPT rules, and the underlying cause (overbig government).

Michigan is one of VERY FEW remaining states that will otherwise continue to assess your ink pens, mouse pad, sticky notes, and desk top knockerballs.  Here is a link to your hall pass, your permission slip; your way to avoid paying taxes again and again on equipment and office furnishings up to a value of $80k.  It is due on the 20th.

Two weeks.

You’re welcome.

You Betcha! (7)Nuh Uh.(0)

What Is Going On Here?

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.

First up is an increase in the current landfill tipping tax from $ 0.36 per ton to $ 4.75 per ton. Snyder claims this tax increase will raise $ 79 million for recycling programs. It won’t. The incremental revenue will be something less than $ 70.7 million, because 769,000 tons of solid waste from other states with lower tipping taxes will no longer be land filled in Michigan (pdf). Michigan landfills will suffer a 4.5% volume drop, which will be consequential. They will either curtail operations (read: lay off workers), cut workers’ wages or raises, and/or adjust tipping fees. Local units of government, which also collect revenue from their landfills, will suffer revenue losses as well. Environmentalists will applaud, but the trash is just being diverted to different land fills. There is no environmental benefit to playing musical chairs with garbage.

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.

It won’t.

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Mo Money

Eight years of tax increases.

Michigan taxpayers shelled out an extra $32.6 billion in state taxes over the last eight years.

Money collected in state tax revenue per Cap Con and their associated graphic:

The eight year total increase in taxes amounts to an aggregate of roughly $3,400 for every legal man, woman and child in the state of Michigan.

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The Echo Chamber

Well, it took them long enough.

The first so-called “major revision” in the tax code in roughly 30-years.

Jason touched on this a little earlier with the statement released by Chairwoman Romney-McDaniel.

Speaking for myself, I’m going to hold off final judgment until I get a chance to read exactly what was in final bill. On the plus side, at least it doesn’t touch the continuing resolution.

But where I want to go with this is a little differently from where I have gone with in the past. This time I’m going to focus on the other side…Team “d”.

Not so much in what they have said, but in what they are doing. Or, more specifically, not doing.

{More below the fold}

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GOP Statement On Tax Overhaul

Ronna McDaniel: "Democrats will be held accountable.."

It’s done.

President Donald Trump is hosting a celebratory affair after congress took action to reform federal tax policy.

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman and former Michigan GOP chair Ronna McDaniel issued the following statement celebrating the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“Today is a historic day for Americans, as they receive the biggest tax cut for the working class in a generation,” said Chairwoman McDaniel. “Thanks to Congressional Republicans and President Trump for keeping their promise to the American people by passing historic tax relief, all without a single Democrat vote.””Democrats will be held accountable next November when their constituents realize they voted against more money in their paycheck and refused to take part in helping more Americans be successful.”

It has truly been a good year.
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Sleight of Hand

Fast Times At The Detroit Public Schools Community District

Norman Shy, the Detroit Public Schools vendor who stole $ 3 million with the capable assistance of 12 DPS principals and one DPS administrator, has begun paying his court-ordered restitution. The Detroit Free Press reported today that the Detroit Public Schools Community District has received $ 1.5 million from Mr. Shy, out of the total $ 2.7 million in restitution U.S. District Court ordered Mr. Shy to pay in September 2016.

The problem here? Mr. Shy’s scam looted the pre bailout/bankruptcy Detroit Public School District, not the new Detroit Public Schools Community District. The new Detroit Public Schools Community District was created in July 2016, before Mr. Shy’s sentencing but well after his 13 year long scam concluded.

The legacy Detroit Public School District still exists as a ward of the State of Michigan to pay off more than $ 500 million in ‘operating debts’. Debts which, in part, are directly due to Mr. Shy’s scam and dozens of other thieves. Michigan taxpayers at large are paying down those debts of the legacy DPS District, and will be paying until 2025 – if not longer.

Mr. Shy’s restitution payments should be paid to the legacy DPS District, not the new DPSC District. Its not like Michigan taxpayers owe these monies to the new DPSCD. Michigan taxpayers fronted the DPSCD $ 617 million as part of the 2016 bailout/bankruptcy, and the new, ‘debt free’ district is now being financed just as generously as every other school district in Michigan.

$ 1.5 million is real money.  Restitution should be directed to those financially damaged.  In this case, it is the taxpayers of Michigan – not the new Detroit Public Schools Community District – who were looted by Mr. Shy.

Anyone still wonder why Michigan residents are so ill disposed towards Detroit and its very creative government accounting practices?

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Decision Time: DW&SD Rain Tax Comes To A Head In Court

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.

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Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

This piece started off when I was asked for my $0.02 this weekend on something in the local paper (which I freely admit that I do still read), written by someone whom I consider an absolute imbecile (which I’d told my friend on multiple occasions what I thought of this particular writer).

Still, if this wasn’t coming from a friend of mine, it probably would’ve ended differently.

{Post continues below the fold}


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10 Years Later

The 'temporary' tax hike is still with us.

It didn’t go away.

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the signing of Jennifer Granholm’s income tax hike in October 2007.  Liars lie, and we have had our share over the years. On whether a particular democrat would sign on to such a drastic measure as reducing the net income of every single Michiganian?

Which is why it may have been encouraging for job makers and Michigan families when Bieda got the nod. After all, just last fall while campaigning for reelection he told the Detroit News that he was not out to raise taxes on Michigan businesses.

Q: There’s growing talk in Lansing about placing a sales tax on services that are now exempt. Would you support that approach?

A: Generally speaking, I think a tax on services, with perhaps some very limited exceptions, is something that I do not support.

One of a majority signing on to the temporary tax.

It was temporary. It was supposed to be rolled back.  Given GOP has had control of all branches of the state since 2010, and how we have been sold a bill of goods on the (NEW) gas tax, who is it that really needs a kick in the ‘ass?’

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