Booher supports consumer tax relief

LANSING—Legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher is heading to the governor to help spur vehicle and watercraft sales by reducing the cost of purchasing a new or used car, RV or boat in Michigan.

“This is about reducing purchasing costs for Michigan residents and helping out local job providers,” said Booher, R-Evart. “Next to owning a home, buying a car is the second-largest purchase most middle-class families will make. These reforms will help families save money when they buy a car or watercraft in Michigan and enable our local Michigan dealers to better compete with out-of-state sellers.”

When an individual today buys a new or used automobile or watercraft in Michigan, the state’s 6 percent sales tax is applied to the full sales price, even if the sale included a trade-in. 

“This tax relief plan will have Michigan join more than 40 other states – and every Great Lakes state – in deciding not to tax the value of trade-ins,” Booher said. “The new law will end an unfair policy that was putting our in-state businesses at a competitive disadvantage and that was costing Michigan consumers millions of dollars each year in extra taxes. It is a great illustration of how a change in state policy can positively impact both job providers and consumers.”

Under Senate Bill 89, the sales tax would be applied only to the difference between the price of a new or used car, boat or recreational vehicle and the value of a trade-in.

Full trade-in value would be applied to boat sales. The trade-in value for cars and RVs would initially be limited to $2,000 and would increase by $500 in 2015 and each year after that.

Relief for watercraft purchases would begin on Nov. 15, 2013, and automobile and RV buyers would see relief starting a month later on Dec. 15, 2013.

“Once fully implemented, if someone trades in a car valued at $5,000 toward the purchase of a $15,000 truck, the sales tax will only be applied to the $10,000 difference — saving the consumer $300 in taxes,” Booher said. “That is real savings that can greatly impact the family budget.”

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Booher comments on state rejection of two bids to private prisons in Michigan

LANSING?State officials on Thursday rejected two bids from private companies to run a Level IV prison with 968 inmates, either at a privately held facility or the closed state prison in Standish. One bid was from GEO Group, who owns the former Baldwin prison that was shut down under the Granholm Administration.

After hearing of the decision, Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement:

“The Department of Technology, Management and Budget reviewed the proposals and made the decision that they did not meet the 10 percent savings requirement.

“I look forward to reviewing the proposals and the state’s estimated cost numbers so that we can all see how they arrived at this decision.

“Michigan spends roughly $2 billion on Corrections. As we look for ways to reduce prison costs, we must ensure that the bidding process is transparent, fair and that there is an apples-to-apples comparison between the state and private companies.”

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Booher comments on state rejection of two bids to private prisons in Michigan

LANSING?State officials on Thursday rejected two bids from private companies to run a Level IV prison with 968 inmates, either at a privately held facility or the closed state prison in Standish. One bid was from GEO Group, who owns the former Baldwin prison that was shut down under the Granholm Administration.

After hearing of the decision, Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement:

“The Department of Technology, Management and Budget reviewed the proposals and made the decision that they did not meet the 10 percent savings requirement.

“I look forward to reviewing the proposals and the state’s estimated cost numbers so that we can all see how they arrived at this decision.

“Michigan spends roughly $2 billion on Corrections. As we look for ways to reduce prison costs, we must ensure that the bidding process is transparent, fair and that there is an apples-to-apples comparison between the state and private companies.”

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Booher, Casperson introduce public safety bills

LANSING—Sens. Darwin Booher and Tom Casperson on Wednesday introduced public safety legislation that would allow Concealed Pistol License (CPL) holders to carry a non-lethal Taser into a no-carry zone, such as a school or day care center.

“Allowing Tasers in no-carry zones will provide a non-lethal method to protect oneself in areas where there is presently no other way to effectively defend oneself and our children,” said Booher, R-Evart. “This is about allowing people to use new technologies to keep our children and the public safe.” 

Booher sponsored this legislation after reading a letter to the editor from a constituent who recommended allowing Tasers in schools in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. 

“Constituents often see sensible solutions to profound problems if we take the time to listen,” Booher said. “Not only is this a practical solution, but a very necessary solution in light of the horrific acts that continue to take place. As the headlines remind us far too often, we cannot sit idly by or rely on the recommendations of some workgroup. This measure offers a real opportunity for defense when currently no other means are available.”

Senate Bills 572 and 573 would allow a device that uses electro-muscular disruption technology, such as a Taser, to be carried in the no-carry zones outlined in state law. The bills build upon Public Acts 122-124 of 2012, which permit CPL holders to possess an electro-muscular disruption device, such as a Taser, for self-defense purposes, and also require authorized dealers to provide training to CPL holders on the use and risks of Tasers.

“Tasers can only be used for self-defense, and under this reform, they could only be carried into a no-carry zone by someone licensed to carry a concealed pistol,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “Individuals with CPL permits have proven that they respect the law and the responsibility that comes with the permission to carry weapons. They will have undergone training for concealed pistols as well as extra training on the use, effects and risks of using a Taser. The sincere gravity with which CPL holders have treated this responsibility is shown by the compliance rate since Michigan expanded the right to carry a concealed weapon to law-abiding citizens 12 years ago. Consequently, expansion of that right in this way is warranted, necessary and sensible.”

The lawmakers noted that individuals using a Taser for anything other than self-defense are subject to prosecution under Michigan law, including a four-year felony offense.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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Booher, Casperson introduce public safety bills

LANSING—Sens. Darwin Booher and Tom Casperson on Wednesday introduced public safety legislation that would allow Concealed Pistol License (CPL) holders to carry a non-lethal Taser into a no-carry zone, such as a school or day care center.

“Allowing Tasers in no-carry zones will provide a non-lethal method to protect oneself in areas where there is presently no other way to effectively defend oneself and our children,” said Booher, R-Evart. “This is about allowing people to use new technologies to keep our children and the public safe.” 

Booher sponsored this legislation after reading a letter to the editor from a constituent who recommended allowing Tasers in schools in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. 

“Constituents often see sensible solutions to profound problems if we take the time to listen,” Booher said. “Not only is this a practical solution, but a very necessary solution in light of the horrific acts that continue to take place. As the headlines remind us far too often, we cannot sit idly by or rely on the recommendations of some workgroup. This measure offers a real opportunity for defense when currently no other means are available.”

Senate Bills 572 and 573 would allow a device that uses electro-muscular disruption technology, such as a Taser, to be carried in the no-carry zones outlined in state law. The bills build upon Public Acts 122-124 of 2012, which permit CPL holders to possess an electro-muscular disruption device, such as a Taser, for self-defense purposes, and also require authorized dealers to provide training to CPL holders on the use and risks of Tasers.

“Tasers can only be used for self-defense, and under this reform, they could only be carried into a no-carry zone by someone licensed to carry a concealed pistol,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “Individuals with CPL permits have proven that they respect the law and the responsibility that comes with the permission to carry weapons. They will have undergone training for concealed pistols as well as extra training on the use, effects and risks of using a Taser. The sincere gravity with which CPL holders have treated this responsibility is shown by the compliance rate since Michigan expanded the right to carry a concealed weapon to law-abiding citizens 12 years ago. Consequently, expansion of that right in this way is warranted, necessary and sensible.”

The lawmakers noted that individuals using a Taser for anything other than self-defense are subject to prosecution under Michigan law, including a four-year felony offense.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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