Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gas Tax Change / Okemos Student in Michigan 2020 finals / Your Feedback

More on the Gas Tax - Act Wednesday, May 8
Our last post dealt with a plan to divert K-12 funding to pay for roads.  We don't oppose funding road repair.  We do oppose funding road repair by taking away from K-12 education.  Smaller parts of this package moved out of committee today, the rest is expected to move tomorrow.

Remember, the gist of this legislation is to change the type of tax on gas from a sales tax (which has a portion dedicated to K-12 education), to a wholesale tax (which does not go to K-12 education).

MIRS reported:
The committee voted along party lines, 9-6, this afternoon to report HB 4571 and HB 4572 to the House floor. Together, the bills would levy a new wholesale tax on aviation fuel and then, would exempt aviation fuel from the state's sales tax.
The committee has discussed -- but not acted on -- a similar plan for fuel for cars and trucks. Supporters of the idea of exempting fuel from the sales tax believe the taxes people pay on powering their vehicles should go back in to transportation needs. . . .
However, school organizations, local government groups and Democratic lawmakers spoke out against the bills today, because at least so far, the bills don't include a replacement mechanism for the revenue lost through exempting aviation fuel from the sales tax. . . .
While the House Fiscal Agency hasn't yet provided specific details on what that loss may be for exempting aviation fuel, committee members threw out estimates of $55 million for education and $12 million for local government revenue sharing. [MIRS, May 7, 2013]
Eclectablog noted that the eventual plan seems to be to later force voters to pay an increased sales tax to replace the money taken away from K-12 by this move:
That’s where they have attempted to pull a fast one.
Increasing the state sales tax requires Michiganders to vote for it and only after it receives super-majority (2/3) votes in both the House and the Senate. They are going to eliminate $770.1 million from the schools and hope and pray that Michigan voters see fit to increase the sales tax. Again. And this doesn’t fill the part of the hole created by eliminating the sales tax on aviation fuel, by the way.
A sales tax is one the most regressive taxes we have. The more poor you are, the greater a percentage of your budget goes to sales taxes. [Michigan Republicans aiming to carve another $770 million from schools to pay for road/bridge repairs, Eclectablog, May 7, 2013.]
There is still time to stop this.  Eclectablog provided three ways to take action:
  1. Click HERE to go to a page with contact information for your legislators. MAKE THE CALL!
  2. Click HERE to send a message to your legislator via the Michigan Parents for Schools website.
  3. Click HERE to send a message via the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education.
Okemos High Senior Sydney Barosko in Michigan 2020 Finals!
Sydney Barosko, Senior at Okemos HS, is a finalist for the Michigan 2020 Plan Scholarship video competition and could use your vote. The MI2020 Plan was put forth by Senate Dems as a way to fund higher education for middle class families.  Watch her video entry, and vote for Sydney here

Tell Us How We Are Doing, What Else the Group Can Do
The email which corresponds to this blog post contains a link to a survey on how the group is functioning and what else the group can do.  If you would like to take the survey, please emails okemosparentsforschools@gmail.com to be added to our mailing list.

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