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Gridlock in Lansing tosses road funding decision to taxpayers but Dems get a LOT of what they wanted

Michigan’s legislature is essentially a microcosm of what is happening in Washington, D.C. A small coalition of hard-right tea party types are holding the Republican party hostage, forcing them to cut deals with the Democrats in order to actually, you know, govern. Cast in the role of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner is Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger. This gridlock gave Democrats the ability to secure some important elements in the road funding agreement.

The battle to find over a billion dollars in road funding finally came to an end at something like 5:30 a.m. this morning. The final result does a whole lot of things but entirely depends on Michigan taxpayers raising the sales tax from six percent to seven percent.…

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DERP – Tea Party: Having to pay tax on internet transactions is TYRANNY!

The Tea Party of West Michigan (motto: “Influence policy, effect [sic] elections, protect the Constitution”) is a constant source of entertainment and amazement to me. They amaze me because of their impressive ability to turn out their supporters to contact their legislators to get things done according to their distorted worldview in Lansing. They are VERY good at doing this, far better than progressives are.

They entertain me because… well, because of stuff like this:

From: Tea Party of West Michigan
Date: December 10, 2014
Subject: Vote on internet tax today.

Call your Reps.and any others you have time to call

Arguments can be made on the merits of a level playing field however what it boils down to in my book is tyranny as it’s just another confiscation of our wealth and the large companies like Amazon who lobbied for this will benefit as it will remove many small business internet companies hence thinning down their competition.

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GOP House Speaker wants to pay for road funding without raising gas prices by cutting – you guessed it – education funding

During the 2014 campaign in Michigan, we were told repeatedly that Republicans hadn’t cut education funding. Despite the fact that they had actually taken BILLIONS OF DOLLARS from our schools each year, the told us with a straight face that, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, they had increased funding for our classrooms.

Now, just a few weeks later, Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger is proposing that we pay for billions of dollars in road and bridge repairs by cutting education funding so that legislators would “not have to raise taxes”.

I’m totally serious.

The plan would remove, over six years, the 6% sales tax now charged on fuel sales, while at the same time converting the 19-cent-per-gallon fuel tax to a percentage rate that would gradually increase over the same period.…
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Big Picture: A visual examination of whose side Rick Snyder is on when it comes to taxes

Last week, Anne introduced a new feature on Eclectablog – Big Picture – a new way to look at the issues using an engaging visual approach. The first one took a look at Governor Rick Snyder’s harmful impacts on public education in Michigan. You can view that one HERE

Today is Anne’s second installment. This one looks at the dangerous tax policies of our Republican Governor. He’s raised taxes on over half of our citizens, but what do we have to show for it? The fifth highest unemployment rate and Michigan led the country in job losses in August.

Click the image below to explore whose side Rick Snyder is on when it comes to taxes.…

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Rick Snyder hasn’t taken $1 billion out of K-12 education, he’s taken BILLIONS out of K-12 education

I had a conversation with Ann Arbor-area state Representative Jeff Irwin recently and he brought up a point few people are discussing related to higher education. There’s been a lot of focus on how much money is in Gov. Snyder’s budget for education and Gov. Snyder wants everyone to believe that he has put MORE money into his education budget than his predecessor. There’s a tiny bit of room for debate if you completely ignore the impact of inflation and the fact that his increased spending has been largely to make sure teachers’ retirement pensions are stable.

But that’s not what Irwin was talking about.…

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Strange bedfellows: Republican Rick Snyder endorsed by anti-gun Michael Bloomberg AND the NRA

In what was a surprise to pretty much nobody, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Republican Rick Snyder this past week. He’s also spending $2 million on pro-Snyder ads. I say it’s unsurprising because (a) Bloomberg held a mega-fundraiser for Snyder back in June in the midst of the road funding battle in the Michigan legislature that ended up fully funding our road repair needs going absolutely nowhere in the vacuum of leadership provided by Gov. Snyder and (b) the Multi-Millionaire’s Club is small and they take very good care of each other.

But another odd thing happened: The National Rifle Association (NRA) also endorsed Snyder.…

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Terri Lynn Land embraces tea party’s “Force States to Raise Gas Taxes on Themselves to Fix Roads Act”

Back in February, “Crazy Kerry” Bentivolio published an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press expressing his strong support for something called the “Transportation Empowerment Act” (TEA), legislation sponsored by ardent Tea Party Caucus members Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Representative Tom Graves (R-GA). The TEA would do the following:

  1. Grant “all authority regarding federal highway and transit programs to the states over a five-year period”.
  2. Decrease the federal gas tax from 18.4 cents to 3.7 cents.
  3. Issue states a block grant with “fewer federal strings attached to it” during the transfer the funding of road repair back to states over a five year period.
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VIDEO: New DGA ad calls out Rick Snyder for raising taxes on senior citizens in Michigan

A new ad out by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) calls out Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for raising taxes on Michigan senior citizens. It is the sixth ad run by the DGA in Michigan.

Here’s DGA Communications Director Danny Kanner:

Governor Snyder raised taxes on Michigan’s seniors to give tax cuts to the wealthy and buisnesses even if they shipped jobs overseas. Mark Schauer will reverse the Snyder retirement tax, restore Snyder’s devastating education cuts, and finally build a Michigan economy that works for the middle class, not just those at the very top.

This latest ad features a retiree from my neck of the woods in Scio Township, Rocky Gonet.…

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Warren Mayor Jim Fouts plans to sue to overturn Proposal 1: “Blatantly unlawful and fraudulent”

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts plans to file a lawsuit to overturn Proposal 1, approved by voters in Tuesday’s primary. The ballot initiative eliminates the Personal Property Tax which taxes businesses for equipment that they own, giving Michigan businesses a half billion dollar tax break on top of the $1 billion cut in corporate taxes passed in 2011.

Fouts said the lawsuit will contend that the wording of the ballot proposal violated state law. He called the wording “confusing,” “one-sided,” “prejudiced” and “blatantly unlawful and fraudulent,” in a news release today announcing that he has directed the city attorney to file the lawsuit Friday in the Michigan Court of Claims.…
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Michigan voters give businesses another half billion tax break

By a decisive 69-31% margin, Michigan voters passed Proposition 1, giving businesses a $500 million tax break on top of the $1 billion tax break they were given by Rick Snyder and Republican legislators just after the 2010 election. Proposal 1 eliminates the Personal Property Tax, a tax businesses pay on equipment that they own.

According to analysis by the Citizens Research Council, the net revenue loss to the state will rise to half a billion dollars by 2025:

All told, net [General Fund/General Purpose] revenue will be $107 million lower in FY2016 and almost $350 million lower in FY2017 as reimbursement needs increase with an expanded PPT exemption.…
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