News Release Contact: Bill McMaster, Cell (248) 798-8501
LANSING MICHIGAN, JULY 17 2015
Reminder to Gov. Snyder, State Legislators and news media:
“No new tax hike on motorists at Michigan gas pumps is possible without statewide voted approval of the people as required by the Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment in our Michigan Constitution.
You complied with our Headlee Amendment by putting your Proposal 1 to fix our roads to a vote of grassroots taxpayers on May 5, 2015. Significant for the course of liberty, the residents of Michigan soundly rejected by 80% the 5-month campaign of Gov. Snyder in support of $1.2 billion in new tax hikes.
Some apparently dense politicians and news media are now scheming to violate our Constitutional Right to vote YES or NO by imposing illegal gas tax hikes legislatively“.
Bill McMaster, State Chairman (Volunteer)
Taxpayers United MI Foundation
Taxpayers United urges Gov. Snyder and legislators to avoid tax hikes to fix our roads without the statewide voter approval required by the Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment in our Michigan Constitution.
State Senator Patrick Colbeck’s “financing from within plan” using record high FY 2015-2016 total State revenue of $55 billion (up another $2 billion this fiscal year) is one worthy solution.
On July 1, 2015, Gov. Rick Snyder, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Michigan Senate Republican leadership majority illegally approved another convoluted gas tax hike on Michigan motorists without grassroots voter approval. The package of eight tie-barred bills must now achieve at least a 56 vote majority each for the Senate package to be approved in the 110 member Michigan House of Representatives. Michigan House Republicans hold a 63-47 majority.
While Democrat Senators are unanimously opposed to tax hikes to fix our roads, House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel is now advocating re-prioritizing appropriations from the $55 Billion annual Total State Revenues to fix our roads from the lavish corporate welfare being awarded by Snyder’s Republican administration to politically connected corporations without documented beneficial effects.
Having learned nothing from the May 5, 2015 drubbing by Michigan voters of their Proposal 1 proposed tax hikes to fix our roads, Republican politicians in our State Capitol scavenged enough votes July 1, 2015 to barely pass eight different bills, requiring the 20th vote from Lt. Gov. Brian Calley to break the tie each time.
In preparing the latest Republican attack on grassroots taxpayers, State Senators Meekhof (R), Hansen (R) and Kowall (R) rushed the tax hike package through the Senate Government Operations Committee over the voted objections of Ananich (D) and Hood (D). Several Republican Senators joined their Democrat colleagues in opposing the tax-hiking package on the Senate floor July 1.
“We are rightly concerned with the Republican Party’s reckless rush to tax gasoline for Michigan’s motorists to the second highest cost in the United States; much higher than each of Michigan’s neighboring States,” commented Bill McMaster, State Chairman (Volunteer), Taxpayers United Michigan Foundation.
The 110 members of the Michigan House of Representatives interrupted their summer vacations to return to Lansing July 14-15 to consider Gov. Snyder’s tax hike “compromises” between the House and Senate bills. The House will return to Lansing for a couple of days starting July 21. The Senate will return August 11.
Grassroot taxpayers are urging legislators to fix the roads by appropriating the $2 billion in additional State tax money being collected this year to fix the roads. Legislators can reallocate funds from within the State Budget and avoid more tax hikes on already struggling Michigan families.
July 1’s action in the State Senate is illegal because it violates the Constitutional right of grassroots taxpayers to vote YES or NO statewide as guaranteed by the 1978 Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment in our Michigan Constitution. Gov. Snyder must accept the fact that the May 5 road tax proposal was properly submitted to the people statewide for a Yes or No vote as mandated by the Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment in our Michigan Constitution.
Gov. Snyder is having increasing difficulty in trying to convince Republican legislators to disregard Headlee Amendment provisions in our State Constitution that they have sworn in their oath of office to uphold. There are several mistakes in the Senate tax hike package adopted in the Senate July 1 and sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence, amending or substitution.
Draft 2 of Senate Substitute for House Bill No. 4611, one of the eight bills in the tax hike package, contradicts the Republican leadership claim that the expected $1.5 billion increased revenue will be used solely to fix the roads. In truth, the Senate’s approved language to amend the 1951 Public Act 51 will continue to enable the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the State Transportation Commission to illegally spend taxpayer funding for not only fixing the roads but also for ‘Streetcar Lines to Nowhere’ such as the Detroit Regional Transportation Authority’s M1 rail project; bus systems; bicycle paths and granting unconstitutional power of the "Michigan State Transportation Commission, Counties, Cities and Villages to borrow money, issue bonds and make pledges of funds” without voter approval.
That part of the package would also legalize the State of Michigan to continue spending millions of dollars to buy property that Gov. Snyder wants in order to build the Detroit International Plaza for his proposed Bridge across the Detroit River to Canada. That would be a sneaky way for Gov. Snyder to get around his promise to grassroots taxpayers to “not spend a dime of Michigan taxpayer money” for a government built Bridge in competition with Matty Moroun’s originally proposed privately funded Twin Bridge next to the existing Ambassador Bridge.
Gov. Snyder has been meeting behind closed doors to find a way to raise taxes on grassroots taxpayers to fix our roads while preserving his “untouchable” corporate welfare being diverted from the State Budget through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s scandalously failed giveaways to politically connected corporations.
The eight bills comprising the Senate road funding package include Senate Bill 0414, House Bill 4610,
HB 4611, HB 4612, HB 4613, HB 4614, HB 4615 and HB 4616.
By majority vote statewide in 1978, grassroot taxpayers amended the Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment, Article 9, Sections 6 and 25 through 34, into our State Constitution. Its permanence can only be changed by another Constitutional Amendment conducted by the State of Michigan’s Bureau of Elections.
Our Michigan Constitution, Article 9, Sec. 25 of the Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment states: Property taxes and other local taxes and state taxation and spending may not be increased above the limitations specified herein without direct voter approval. Article I, Sec. 1. All political power is inherent in the People.
“Taxpayers United is joining other concerned citizen organizations in opposing Gov. Snyder’s proposed gasoline tax hikes without a vote of the people”, McMaster concluded in the State Capitol today.”
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Taxpayers United Michigan Foundation was founded in 1976 by Dick Headlee (deceased 2004) and Bill McMaster to successfully win statewide voter approval of the 1978 Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment. It has evolved into a tax deductible 501(c)(3) under the IRS code as a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational foundation helping educate grassroots taxpayers how to defend and control their Constitutional Rights despite exploitation by unethical public officials and units of government.
Bill McMaster is still President of national award winning McMaster Marketing & PR he founded in 1968.