Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Senate votes to repeal service tax without replacement

Really? Are they going to take back the votes on MESSA too? That was part of the bargain, after all.

As expected, the Michigan Senate voted 23-15 on Wednesday to repeal a tax on more business services set to take effect Dec. 1.

Republicans who control the Senate supported the bill as a step forward while Democrats said they could not back it unless the lost tax revenue is replaced, because the money is part of a deal to balance state government's budget.

No way it gets past the Governor, or even the House, but that won't stop the Republicans from being fiscally irresponsible. Mike Prusi calls them out on it-

Democrats, however, argued there also is agreement to replace the tax _ as shown by bipartisan votes last week to spend the money it would generate.

"It's the reasonable and responsible thing to do," said Sen. Michael Prusi, an Ishpeming Democrat who accused Republicans of playing "gotcha" politics by rushing to pass the bill and seeking credit for it instead of first reaching an overall deal.

Not only that, they knew the House would remove the tie-bar on the two separate bills, one that delays the start and the other that was the repeal. Senate Republicans would have no such action. Does this signal an obstruction on replacement revenue?

Republicans blocked Democrats' efforts to tie the repeal to a bill Democrats said is being worked on in the House that would replace revenue lost from killing the service tax.

The House is shooting for sanity.

House Tax Policy Chairman Steven Bieda said Wednesday he hopes to vote Thursday on legislation repealing the tax and replacing the revenue. The Warren Democrat's committee has been mulling whether to add a surcharge to the new Michigan Business Tax to make up the lost revenue.

So, Republicans will take credit for the things the budget saved and provided for their communities, and then they will take credit for repealing the funds that pay for them. Nice.