I have spent all 62 of my years in this state and where once I was proud of my residence here, I now feel more embarrassment than pride. We live in a state where mediocrity is fostered and encouraged in just about every arena. No where is this more evident than in our state governmental bodies. Strict laws are enacted, and then not enforced. Bills are introduced to help fund replenishment of some shortfall, and then the money is diverted to other causes. The legislature continually tries to introduce new bills aimed at increasing revenues, driving businesses and residents alike to resorting to covert means to circumvent these new laws with the end result being an actual decrease in expected revenues.
A perfect example of legislation that could backfire is HB 5897. It proposes to levy even more exorbitant vehicle registration taxes on Michigan motorists at a time when they are already overburdened with current vehicle expenses which include outrageous fuel prices, higher insurance rates and registration taxes based upon the age of the vehicle. As if this was not enough, 5897 even wants to wring more dollars out of the antique vehicle hobbyists. I know legislators perpetually shy away from any regulations regarding oil companies, but what would be wrong with taxing the excess profits they rake in every time the fuel prices climb? Now that would be a house bill we could live with. 150% increase in profits? Bingo! Share the wealth Exxon, BP, and so on.
Remember the institution of permanent license plates for trailers? While $75.00 for a permanent license for a utility, travel or boat trailer was somewhat of a bargain, any trucking company will tell you that the $300.00 permanent fee for semi-trailers was prohibitive. One or two trailers were no problem. Three or four hundred trailers, on the other hand, meant a one time expenditure of over a million dollars all at one time, for renewals of all their trailers. Ever notice how many Maine and Tennessee license plates appear on trailers in Michigan, even though they belong to Michigan based firms? That's because they are registered there for less money. Big revenues expected from the trailer increases probably led to an actual decline.
We need an intelligent legislature.... badly!