Wednesday, November 25, 2015

by Joe Lehman's Facebook

Republican lawmakers apparently learned nothing from Michigan's "lost decade." Cutting hundreds of corporate welfare deals did not prevent the loss of nearly a million jobs but they did cost less well connected taxpayers at least $9 billion while things like road repair languished.
Now Republicans are leading the charge to essentially bribe a business to set up shop here, leaving every other taxpayer on the hook for the cost of the tax-break "bribe." You can bet they'll line up for photos at the corporate ribbon cutting ceremony but be very shy about discussing the precise details of the secret tax deal, especially when it fails to live up to their promises as such deals usually do.
Corporate welfare doesn't work, it isn't fair, and it's not the job of government to pick winners and losers. It's unseemly.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Headlee Abused Again

From: "David Lonier" <>
Subject: Authority not granted to raise taxes/fees to fix roads!
Date: November 5, 2015 at 10:50:17 AM EST
To: "David Lonier" <>

To anyone who has the tiniest grasp of the English language and the concept of self-rule…
This was sent to all State Senators who actually had the nerve…  
A similar notice was sent to all State Reps prior to their actually voting to increase a tax on gasoline and vehicle registration fees…can you believe that?

Dear State Senator,

To increase the gas tax AFTER VOTER DISAPPROVAL, is a blatant disregard of lawmakers’ oath to uphold the constitution.
The Headlee Amendment was passed by the people of Michigan to ensure that there would be no tax increases without their approval.

Where in Article IX of the Michigan State Constitution does it say that the State Legislature can pass a tax increase without voter approval or with an over 80% voter disapproval (Prop. 1) or by a 2/3rds vote of the Lawmakers?

        Guess what?  It doesn’t!

    Any Bill to increase taxes without voter approval has no force of law!
                             It’s in direct contravention of our State Constitution!

      Can you read?  Can you comprehend?


Text of Section 25:

Voter Approval of Increased Local Taxes; Prohibitions; Emergency Conditions; Repayment of Bonded Indebtedness Guaranteed; Implementation of Section
Property taxes and other local taxes and state taxation and spending may not be increasedabove the limitations specified herein without direct voter approval. The state is prohibited from requiring any new or expanded activities by local governments without full state financing, from reducing the proportion of state spending in the form of aid to local governments, or from shifting the tax burden to local government. A provision for emergency conditions is established and the repayment of voter approved bonded indebtedness is guaranteed. Implementation of this section is specified in Sections 26 through 34, inclusive, of this Article.[1]

For clarification as to where the funds will come from, and the law prohibiting excess surplus, see below for verification:
Re: Section 26 below…
There is currently well over $20 Billion above the tax limitation, all but 1% of which belongs in the taxpayers’ bank accounts.
Actually far more if one considers the sixty thousand million dollar ($60  Billion +) astronomical State pension fund.
For government to amass this amount of taxpayers’ money is unconstitutional and beyond plunder!
Article IX:

Text of Section 26:

Limitation on Taxes; Revenue Limit; Refunding or Transferring Excess Revenues; Exceptions to Revenue Limitation; Adjustment of State Revenue and Spending Limits
There is hereby established a limit on the total amount of taxes which may be imposed by the legislature in any fiscal year on the taxpayers of this state. This limit shall not be changed without approval of the majority of the qualified electors voting thereon, as provided for in Article 12 of the Constitution. Effective with fiscal year 1979-1980, and for each fiscal year thereafter, the legislature shall not impose taxes of any kind which, together with all other revenues of the state, federal aid excluded, exceed the revenue limit established in this section. The revenue limit shall be equal to the product of the ratio of Total State Revenues in fiscal year 1978-79 divided by the Personal Income of Michigan in calendar year 1977 multiplied by the Personal Income of Michigan in either the prior calendar year or the average of Personal Income of Michigan in the previous three calendar years, whichever is greater. For any fiscal year in the event that Total State Revenues exceed the revenue limit established in this section by 1% or more, the excess revenues shall be refunded pro rata based on the liability reported on the Michigan income tax and single business tax (or its successor tax or taxes) annual returns filed following the close of such fiscal year. If the excess is less than 1%, this excess may be transferred to the State Budget Stabilization Fund. The revenue limitation established in this section shall not apply to taxes imposed for the payment of principal and interest on bonds, approved by the voters and authorized under Section 15 of this Article, and loans to school districts authorized under Section 16 of this Article. If responsibility for funding a program or programs is transferred from one level of government to another, as a consequence of constitutional amendment, the state revenue and spending limits may be adjusted to accommodate such change, provided that the total revenue authorized for collection by both state and local governments does not exceed that amount which would have been authorized without such change.[1]

And so where is the money going to come from to fix the roads???????

The State is allowed to retain no more than 1% surplus above its spending in any given fiscal year….

On Page 23 of the 2014 CAFR find Governmental Funds:

Read as follows:
Most of the State's basic services are reported in the governmental funds, which focus on how money 
flows into and out of those funds and the balances left at year-end that are available for future spending. The governmental fund 
financial statements provide a detailed short term view of the State's general government operations and the basic services it 
provides. Governmental fund information helps determine whether there are more or fewer financial resources that can be spent 
in the near future to finance the State's programs. These funds are reported using modified accrual accounting, which measures 
cash and all other financial assets that can readily be converted to cash. Governmental funds include the General Fund and 
special revenue, capital project, debt service, and permanent funds. 

Governmental Fund balance is $5.77 Billion

Budget Stabilization Fund is $497 Million

Total cash available for spending:  Governmental + Budget Stabilization = $6.227 Billion
All that’s necessary to fix the problem and the roads is for government to obey the CONSTITUTION!
And beyond the above cash that’s readily available to fix the roads…take a good look at this:

            1. Repeal the Prevailing Wage Act: $400 Million
            2. Repeal the counterproductive MEDC:  $ Billions wasted on corporate welfare
            3. Bring benefits paid to state workers in line with the private sector:  $5.7 Billion
            4. Drop any thoughts of Michigan taxpayers footing any portion of the totally unnecessary 
                $5.3 Billion International Bridge
            5. Use the “unrestricted” surplus in the CAFR/Governmental/Rainy Day/Budget Stabilization Fund:  
                $5.77 Billion, See CAFR pgs 23 & 38
            6. There are $ billions in the Catastrophic Claims Fund that are being used for nothing!
            7. Use the money from the nearly $2 billion increase in state revenue that’s expected from FY 2015-2017.  See attachment
            8. Roads?  Or a new $130 million senate office building so senators can have better view of the capitol????

                Click on the links & see attachment to verify! 

To tax the people AFTER the people have said NO… 
Is telling the taxpayers that the tax-takers have assumed the role of tyrants with total disregard for the will of the people!
You all should hang your heads in shame for even considering such unethical behavior.  

Courtesy of David Lonier
2014 Nominee, State House, 29th District
1842 Commonwealth
Auburn Hills, Michigan 48326