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Democrats, schools and local governments emerged today as the chief opponents to a new road funding plan that's dependent on phasing out the sales tax on gasoline.
House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) is now actively backing the plan, which lawmakers have been discussing behind closed doors for at least two weeks now.
Over a six-year period, the plan would phase out the 6 percent sales tax on gas while increasing the state's regular gasoline tax in a corresponding fashion. The change would eventually dedicate revenue from all state taxes on gasoline to transportation needs.
By the time the plan is fully phased in, it would produce close to $1 billion in extra funding for roads. Working with other transportation proposals that could be enacted in December, the package could eventually produce $1.2 billion for transportation needs each year.
The problem, according to some, is that currently sales tax revenue from gasoline sales goes to help fund schools and local governments.
For the full article, see "Bolger Road Plan To Phase Out Sales Tax On Gas Gains Quick Enemies", Inside MIRS Today, November 25, 2014.
Other topics covered include:
MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is trying to prevent the state from eliminating taxes on office equipment and industrial machinery for a large sector of the business community under a constitutional change voters approved in August.
His lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims alleges Warren stands to lose millions of dollars without the personal property tax on smaller businesses and manufacturers. The tax primarily supports municipal services.
For the full article, see Gary Heinlein, "Fouts sues to stop end of state machinery tax", Detroit News, November 25, 2014.
House Speaker Jase Bolger is pushing an idea to boost road funding that seeks to ensure all state taxes on motor fuel are dedicated to repairing Michigan roads while not affecting prices at the pump.
With the December lame-duck legislative session a week away, Bolger is floating a plan to gradually repeal the 6 percent sales tax on gasoline and replace it with a tax on the wholesale price of fuel by a rate of 1 cent annually over six years. The Legislature has the power to make the move — unlike other sales tax road proposals that require voter approval under the state Constitution.
The Marshall Republican says if the current 19-cents-per-gallon gas tax is converted to a percentage-based tax at the wholesale level of 7 percent, the 6 percent tax could be added on over six years. That would raise the overall fuel tax to 13 percent — the minimum tax rate needed to raise an estimated $1 billion more annually for roads.
"You could get to 13 percent that way and not have to raise taxes," Bolger told The Detroit News. "And you could make sure that all of the money paid at the pump would go toward roads."
Bolger contends projected economic growth will boost overall sales tax revenue, making up for money schools and cities would lose by eliminating the sales tax on gas and diesel. State economists in May projected sales tax receipts would increase $230 million annually in the 2017 fiscal year and subsequent years.
"You'd have a billion dollars more for roads and you'd have a billion dollars more for schools and you wouldn't raise taxes," Bolger said.
For the full article, see Chad Livengood, "Bolger floats an alternative Michigan road plan", Detroit News, November 25, 2014.
Scores of Michigan families will have much to be grateful for Thanksgiving Day after finalizing the adoptions of about 100 children Tuesday during Michigan’s 12th annual Adoption Day.
Celebrated the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Adoption Day has become a Michigan tradition. Some courts in the state hosted informational events highlighting the importance of adoption and the needs of children in foster care.
Adoption Day is co-sponsored by the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Department of Human Services, the Child Welfare Services division of the State Court Administrative Office and Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange.
For the full article, see Mike Martindale and Karen Bouffard, "Adoption Day celebrates growing Michigan families", Detroit News, November 25, 2014.
The aftermath of the 1973 Ohio State vs. Michigan football game was one of the most notorious episodes in Big Ten history. In this game, both teams were undefeated, with Ohio State ranked 1st, and Michigan ranked 4th. A conference championship, Rose Bowl appearance, and possible national championship was on the line in this monumental game, part of the hotly contested stretch of the rivalry known as The Ten Year War. A then-NCAA record crowd of 105,233 watched the game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
Michigan's coaches and players felt that although the game was a tie, that they were the better team and deserved to go to the Rose Bowl. Even Ohio State coach Woody Hayes admitted that his team wouldn't go to the Rose Bowl. There was lots of debate on who would play in the Rose Bowl. Michigan's strong second half, and Franklin's injury were factors in debating who would represent the conference in the "granddaddy of them all".
Ohio State had gone to the Rose Bowl the year before. The Big Ten at the time had a longstanding policy stating that only the conference champion would go to a bowl, the Rose Bowl. The Big Ten also had a "no-repeat" rule until 1971, and had it still been in effect, Michigan would have gone to the Rose Bowl automatically, even if it had lost to Ohio State. With the latter rule abolished, the decision as to who would represent the conference would be left up to a telephone vote by the Big Ten's athletic directors. According to Michigan coach Bo Schembechler's 1989 autobiography, the Big Ten was nervous because the conference had lost the previous four Rose Bowls, and Franklin's injury may have been a deciding factor.
On the day after the game, following a conference call (or a meeting in Chicago -- a current ESPN documentary reports both possibilities), it was announced that Ohio State would play in the Rose Bowl instead of Michigan. Ohio State won the game.
What were the deciding factors? The ESPN documentary speculates that the Big Ten Commissioner revealed that the Michigan quarterback had broken his collarbone in the game, seriously hurting Michigan's chances in The Rose Bowl. It was also pointed out that Michigan State either voted for Ohio State or itself to go, denying Michigan the spot. Despite being a Michigan man, the MSU athletic director may have been influenced by Michigan's vote in 1949 to deny MSU a spot in the Big Ten. At any rate, the envelope containing each of the Athletic Director's votes disappeared, and the Big Ten Commissioner and the Big Ten's Attorney, the only other two individuals to know the vote's outcome, never revealed what happened.
At any rate Schembechler was furious at the call, referring to it as "an embarrassment to the Big Ten Conference" and claiming "petty jealousies" were involved, and remained bitter about the decision to his death. Schembechler went on to demand changes to the Big Ten's policies regarding post-season play.
Soon afterwards the Big Ten Conference abolished the archaic "Rose Bowl or No Bowl" rule. This would allow conference teams other than the champion to accept invitations to other bowls. Michigan would be the first team to receive such an invite, to the Orange Bowl following the 1975 season. Another change, which also took effect in 1975, was the dropping of the athletic directors' vote in the event of a tie for the championship. The new rule stated the team which had gone the longest without appearing in the Rose Bowl would go to Pasadena. Schembechler had pushed for that reform, claiming that the athletic directors were not qualified to decide which team would better represent the conference in the Rose Bowl.
Bill Livingston, 'Tiebreaker' -- Vietnam, Watergate, Michigan-Ohio State, and Big Ten concern for its 1973 football image, Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 16, 2013.
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