Rep. Yaroch creates flexibility to spend salvage fees on police protection

Categories: News,Yaroch News

Legislator sees plan as example of government working for the people

A proposal introduced by state Rep. Jeff Yaroch addressing how money collected from salvaged vehicle inspection fees is distributed has been signed by the governor.

Salvaged vehicles are reconstructed vehicles that once had sustained major damage and were deemed a total loss, which signifies the cost of repair was higher than the policy on them.

Under current law, the Secretary of State cannot issue a certificate of title or registration plates for a rebuilt salvaged vehicle unless a trained official passes the vehicle through an inspection. The inspections are meant to ensure stolen parts were not used to rebuild the vehicle and that the reconstruction was done to code. The inspections are handled by the Secretary of State or local police, if they choose to assist.

When police departments do participate, Yaroch’s new law amends a provision for allocation of money collected from the inspection fees. Instead of requiring fees to be used solely for equipment to prevent auto theft, local governments can now distribute the funds more broadly to support patrol service costs to prevent auto theft.

“I am committed to eliminating the red tape that stands in the way of local governments serving their residents and ensuring government is working for the people and not the other way around,” said Yaroch, of Richmond. “This was a common-sense idea hatched on the ground in Michigan and it’s going to have real, meaningful results.”

Yaroch said the reform grew from a conversation he had with Armada Village Council member Sherri Cooper during a listening tour stop. Armada is one of a handful of police departments in the state who assist with salvage title inspections and develop revenue.

“Armada could buy a police car under the old law, but couldn’t use these fees to put an actual officer in that police car,” said Yaroch. “The law just didn’t make sense and put communities in a difficult spot from a spending perspective. Now communities like Armada have more flexibility to better utilize these funds to protect their citizens.”

The bill, which was supported by the Michigan Township Association and the Michigan Secretary of State, also allows for the auditing of salvage inspection funds.

House Bill 4922 previously went through the House and Senate in nearly unanimous, bipartisan fashion and is now Public Act 108 of 2018.

PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Jeff Yaroch, of Richmond, joined Armada Village Council member Sherri Cooper with a copy of House Bill 4922 at a recent meeting. HB 4922, now a law as Public Act 108 of 2018, gives local governments that have collected salvaged vehicle inspection fees broader ways to spend it within their police departments.