House Republican Leader Matt Hall, R-Richland Township, on Wednesday issued the following statement after voting against a series of Democrat bills to raise fees on Michiganders and small businesses, implementing increases outlined in their $82 billion budget this summer:
“After funding pointless and political projects over Michiganders’ biggest priorities, Democrats are hiking fees to pay for their lavish spending spree. They rammed through a wasteful budget that blew through our state’s $9 billion surplus for pork while underfunding local infrastructure, public safety, and other needs. They knew they didn’t have enough taxpayer money to pay their bill, so now they’re raising fees and planning to raise the income tax early next year. Michigan residents shouldn’t have to pay higher fees and taxes just because Democrats got too careless with the state credit card.”
House Bills 4988-4997, 5000, 5003-5004, and 5006-5007, which the Democrat-controlled House passed today, raise certain fees, block scheduled fee decreases, and extend many fee sunsets in an attempt to balance their budget. For example, the legislation would dramatically increase groundwater discharge fees for Michigan businesses, more than doubling the current maximum annual rate from $3,650 to $7,500. Another example is the cancelation of a scheduled decrease in application fees for occupational licenses. In addition to the fee increases, Democrats will have to raise the income tax in January to pay for the rest of their budget.
“DTE’s $368 million electric rate increase on Michigan residents and job providers is nothing compared to what’s coming down the pipeline next. The utilities will collect a windfall under Democrats’ energy mandates that became law this week.”
“The population council’s current proposal isn’t even a real plan and has no strategy to grow our population,” Hall said. “It’s just a long wish list for new revenues — tax hikes on Michiganders.”
“Michiganders want their leaders to work together to make our state safe and successful,” Hall said. “The balance of power in the House of Representatives is a call to bipartisanship, and Michigan legislators on both sides of the aisle should answer the call and find common ground.”