Thursday, March 18, 2010

House Votes to Fund Pure Michigan Campaign

This is coming down to the wire. If they don't get this done within the next two weeks, we will lose the summer ad buy - and businesses based on Michigan tourism will suffer for it. Lost revenue, perhaps even lost jobs. Today, the House Democrats did something good...

The Michigan House has passed legislation that would add a $2.50 daily charge on vehicles rented near airports to help pay for a popular tourism advertising campaign.

The main bill in the package to fund the Pure Michigan campaign passed the Democrat-led House by a 56-52 vote Thursday mostly along party lines. The package would let the state loan up to $20 million to the campaign and repay it with revenue from the rental fees.

The bills now go to the Republican-led Senate, which hasn't supported the idea of using a new rental car fee to fund tourism promotion.

No-No Nancy Cassis is the hold up once again, as she has so far indicated she won't consider the issue. Even though 43 states tax or add fees to car rentals, a lot of them putting that money towards tourism, our Senate Republicans would rather kill this award-winning, highly successful campaign that brings in millions and supports Michigan businesses and workers than slap a measly $2.50 on a rental car.

Pure Michigan Republican Stupidity.

Speaker Dillon might actually have a trick up his sleeve on this one though. According to Michigan Radio, they tie-barred this funding to the new background checks that will be conducted for company officials applying for MEGA credits. Since Mike Bishop is prancing around today and demanding investigations into every single business that ever got a MEGA credit ever (all the way back to Engler days?), will the Senate then turn around and kill this legislation?

Probably. They are just that mean. But at least we will know where we can lay the blame.