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The automobile state

March 11, 2013 - Blaine Hyska
The road repair debate marches on. Gov. Snyder wants to raise the fuel taxes by 19 cents, or so, while some other lawmakers want to raise the sales tax to pay for improved roads.

They desperately need work. Roads and highways are in terrible shape. Another part of Snyder’s proposal is to increase annual registration fees about $75 per vehicle. Isn’t it ironic that Michigan — home to Detroit, the birthplace of auto factories — seems intent on making it darn near impossible to own and operate an automobile?

What’s wrong with Wisconsin? The Badger State is able to do a decent job on road repair, and everyone knows gas “is always cheaper in Green Bay.” Can’t we just copy Wisconsin’s road repair system?

And what’s with Michigan’s vehicle sales tax?

Is Michigan the only state to tax a vehicle over and over and over and over? You pay a sales tax when you buy your new car from the dealer. At 6 percent, that’s a pretty good chunk of change. You then sell your car to your buddy a year later, and he also must pay the sale tax. If the car is sold 10 times over 20 years, the state rakes in sales tax each time the car is sold. Where does that money go?

Think about it.

Does this promote automobile sales in a state that’s home to Motor City? Or does this promote fudging of car sales receipts? You know, a guy buys a car for $4,000 and the seller agrees to make the bill of sale out for $750, saving him $195 on the sales tax.

And what’s with Michigan’s no fault insurance law?

If no fault is so good, why hasn’t any other state copied it? What power does insurance companies have over our lawmakers that they are deathly afraid to approach the subject? What trance do lawmakers fall under when they go to Lansing to believe even for a second that Michigan’s auto insurance laws are fair? Lawmakers have forced residents to lie in order to afford insurance. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to realize why all those Wisconsin license plates are permanently parked in Michigan.

And what’s with Michigan’s windshield tinting law?

Isn’t it a known fact that climate change is here? The Earth is warmer and the sun is hotter. Nearly every state in the union allows auto owners to tint their vehicle windows to keep the sun from baking their car. It helps the vehicle interior and saves on air conditioner use, a source of air pollution.

Not Michigan, though. Michigan figures we’re such poor drivers that we would not be able to look through a tinted vehicle window and still drive safely. I really don’t know how they do it in other areas of the country. I certainly hope Michigan lawmakers don’t think our police officers are so inferior to officers in other states, that they cannot properly patrol the streets unless they have a clear view of the interior of other vehicles on the road.

Hello, Michigan, we’re the automobile state. Let’s start acting like it.



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