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E-M:/ Budget ideas from California

The Michigan legislature and Governor Granholm may be interested in this budget balancing effort.  Polluter pays.....imagine that.
California Governor Plans to Hike Fees for Polluters (Sacramento Bee, 1/21/03)
While California’s Gov. Gray Davis looks to taxpayers to shoulder much of the burden in balancing a state budget shortfall, the governor also wants farms and other businesses to pony up more money for using pesticides, releasing runoff into waterways or spewing air emissions. Davis is pushing for these so-called "polluter pays" fee increases to help fund three pollution regulatory agencies. In asking for higher fees, Davis wants to keep money in the state treasury and alleviate the agencies' dependence on the more volatile, taxpayer-fed general fund. Tucked inside Davis' $96.4 billion budget proposal is an increase in a small tax on a broad range of pesticides used on food crops and other agricultural products, as well as some products used by consumers, such as chlorine for swimming pools. Davis' proposal also calls for raising more than $10 million in fees for industries regulated by state air officials and $13.6 million in fees for those overseen by state water regulators, yet the targeted industries and the fee amount are unknown. For more on polluter fees, see http://www.serconline.org/fiscalreform/fiscal_reform_pkg_frameset.htm.