State Rep. Ken Borton recently voted against a slew of bills to increase various state fees — a follow-up move to help pay for the massive $82 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1st.
“Instead of stretching wallets even more thinly during times of rampant inflation and today’s high cost of essentials, we should be helping Michigan residents,” said Borton, of Gaylord, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee. “These are the folks who actually bring tax dollars into our state, and we’re penalizing them for their hard work. We had an $82 billion budget and as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I can tell you firsthand that we had a prime opportunity to help struggling Michiganders without raising these fees. We are still waiting on ethical questions to be answered by our chairwoman about how this spending was decided, so it’s wrong to fund it all by hiking fees for basic governmental services. We should work together to develop a better plan to help, not hamper, Michigan residents.”
House Bills 4988-4997, 5003-5004, and 5006-5007, which the Democrat-controlled House passed this week, raise certain fees and block other fees from rolling back to lower levels.
For example, the legislation would raise the commercial look-up fee for Secretary of State records to $15. Another example is the cancelation of a scheduled decrease in application fees for occupational licenses. Borton supported various Republican-proposed amendments, such as one to strike the 25% increase for businesses and residents seeking to obtain important vehicle records. The amendments, which would have retained the current $11 rate, were defeated on a party-line vote.
Borton’s concerns over Appropriations Chair Angela Witwer’s quick passage of the fee increases comes after multiple potentially unethical conflicts of interest have been reported.
“The governor’s appointed bureaucrats didn’t even let her signature dry before helping utility companies pass increased renewable energy costs onto customers,” said Borton, R-Gaylord. “It’s disturbing to see how quickly this terrible new policy will drain the pockets of everyday people. Families up north and across Michigan are already dealing with high costs from inflation this holiday season. Lansing Democrats are piling the bills even higher as they work to please radical environmentalists and the fat cat utility companies.”
“Too many deer can become dangerous for Michigan,” said Borton, R-Gaylord. “Hunters are Michigan’s first line of defense for conserving our environment. This year, we’re asking them to let a couple big bucks walk and focus on the does.”