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E-M:/ RE: Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update 12-10-08 - Lame Duck Update - Drain tax



------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from James Clift -------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Senate is considering whether to discharge HB 4688 from the Senate Agriculture Committee.  The bills doubles the amount Drain Commissioners can assess property owners in order to do "drain maintenance," from $1250 to $2500 annually.   This is a tax increase that is not subject to review, voter approval or review.  This type of taxation without representation should not be allowed to continue (and certainly not expanded).  
 
The Drain Code has not been significantly updated since 1956.  It operates with little consideration of the environmental impacts of decisions, public participation or a focus on its true goal.  Some counties do not even have maps of where their drains are located.  Too many times the Drain Code is now being used by developers to push infrastrucutre costs off of them and onto local homeowners. 
 
The currently law allows more money to be sent but only with local approval of local units of government in which more than 20% of the funds would be raised.  This is a healthy check on this power of taxation. 
 
In these tough economic times, raising costs on homeowners is a step in the wrong direction and could lead to more foreclosures.
 
Contact your State Senator and tell them to vote no on HB 4688.  There contact information can be found at:
 
 
Submitted by:

James Clift

Michigan Environmental Council

119 Pere Marquette, Ste 2A

Lansing, MI 48912

(517) 487-9539

www.mecprotects.org

 

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