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Alcona County Republicans

Local involvement shapes a nation.

Vote NO on Proposal 1, May 5th, 2015. It is the HIGHEST TAX INCREASE IN OVER 60 YEARS!

The Bolger Plan:

NOTE: Unfortunately, it should be noted that this plan violates the current Michigan Constitution in 3 ways, and even the US Constitution in 1 way. However, amendments are possible. After all, Proposal 15-1 is an amendment to the State Constitution.

Representatives Courser and Gramat reintroduces the Bolger Plan, HB 4317 and HB 4318.

A Roads Plan without raising taxes – We really can do better than the Governor’s plan to increase the sales tax and give very little of it to the potholes that line our commutes. With all of the focus of our Governor and many “principalities” in high places on passing on this massive new tax increase; I thought it best to reintroduce what has been called, “The Bolger Plan,” which in its original form didn’t raise taxes and yet raised enough money to deal with the road issues we now face. I have reintroduced this plan as HB 4317 and HB 4318; a great many have warned me to not do this given that it will undermine the Governor’s plan and again put me at odds with him and I simply let these folks know I don’t work for the Governor and he didn’t elect me. I work for the people of the state of Michigan and I was elected by the great people of my home county of Lapeer. My job is to be a fiscal hawk and to offer up solutions that will make the best use of the hard earned dollars that government takes from the mouths of our citizens. The reintroduction of the Bolger plan, albeit it is long name so here after we will call it the The Courser/Gamrat Roads Plan, a plan to raise the money for roads by ensuring every tax dollar spent at the pump is dedicated to infrastructure, but it does not offer a reprioritization of spending within state government. I believe it is our duty to spend your tax dollars in the most useful way possible, which is why we are to offering up our own cuts to government and and promoting some of our colleague’s suggestions. We have been told time and time again by politicians in Lansing that there just isn’t the money or the savings, but don't believe the rhetoric: there is plenty of money out there to spend on the roads. We just have to have leaders who will make the structural changes and quit wasting the funds we already have. Here is a short list, which if done then there will be plenty of road money in addition to HB 4317 and HB 4318.

1. Ensure that every tax dollar that is collected at the gas pump actually goes towards infrastructure maintenance and repair. This ensures every tax dollar spent on gasoline is dedicated towards roads. We also need to reform the way we build roads, and reform MDOT administration to get more miles out of our infrastructure.

2. End the funding to the MEDC (HB 4194)– savings $300 million annually – This is the main vehicle for corporate pork and welfare in our state and to me it is awful to think our citizens can’t have the roads, schools and emergency services they need because we are giving away the people’s treasury to corporations.

3. End Prevailing Wage Gap in Michigan (SB 1) -this alone will save our state 300 million that can be spent on the roads. I applaud Speaker Cotter and Senate Majority Leader Meekhoff for making this a priority of the GOP Action Plan, but the governor has refused to make this change and so our state pays exorbitant costs on all sorts of construction projects at well above the market rates, this is highway robbery of the treasury of the people by organized labor and it really needs to end.

4. End statutory revenue sharing- savings of over 400 million. This money should be prioritized to fixing county, township and city roads instead of blank check. Simply reforming revenue sharing to stop certain counties from benefiting at the expense of the rest of the counties would move hundreds of millions to local roads.

5. End the subsidies for Amtrak-saving of of 40 million. These trains should be paid for through the user fees of the people actually riding them and not balancing their books through government subsidies. Taxpayers who never use these trains and are located hours away from the nearest stop are paying for those who utilize the trains regularly, just those riders can have cheaper tickets to the tune of 40 million dollars every year.

6. End Defined Benefit Retirement for new incoming public school teachers. – this will cost a bit up front to get it right, but the savings if we pass this will be huge down the road! Right now we have billions and billions in unfunded liabilities that leaves our state exposed to financial difficulties for decades of we don’t tackle the problem. We need to stop making more liabilities and give the new employees the chance to have a 401k or something similar and not put the citizens on the hook for liabilities for a pension and then continue to never set aside the money to pay for the liability.

7. Amend the state constitution to reallocate money from the DNR Trust Fund. Currently, our state uses the revenue it obtains from leasing mineral and gas rights to purchase land at a precipitous rate. The state continues to purchase more and more land every year, which then it must be maintained and patrolled at the taxpayer dime. The trust fund’s spending requirements should be amended to stop future land purchases and ensure that future mineral revenues go to at least partially toward infrastructure maintenance and repair.

8. Reform Medicaid services that, according to the Mackinac Center, could save billions of dollars.

9. End the film subsides (HB 4122) that could see savings of around 50 million annually. While it is an adventure for voters of my district see actors like Ben Affleck around town while filming the movie “Batman vs. Superman” the return on our investment is not worth it; not to mention the subsidizing of multi-billion dollar hollywood corporations that increase their profits off the backs of the taxpayers.

10. End the MBT/MEGA tax credits that are blowing a hole in our state budget to the tune 500 million dollars this year and an estimated 9 plus billion dollars. This is one of the most egregious examples of corporate welfare and special carve outs to benefit the pockets of corporate special interests.

It is time we have leaders in Lansing make the hard choices and do their jobs and prioritize spending in the budget to pay for roads and bridges. As you can see from the Courser/Gamrat plan we can come up with billions of dollars in the budget to pay for our roads, it just takes leadership with grit and fortitude to do the hard tasks that get us the best outcomes for the taxpayers. Please call your representatives and hold me in your thoughts and prayers as Representative Gamrat and I stand against the machine to protect your hard-earned tax dollars, keep government out of your wallet, and fight for the liberties and freedoms you deserve from reckless perpetual spending, government overreach, and fiscal and moral tyranny.

MAY 9, 2015 Prop 1 Results

Safe Roads Yes, last ditch effort to terrorize communities to vote yes on prop 1 fails. A resounding 80.1% of Michigan voters voted NO! Here in Alcona County, the number reached 86.4%. Great Job Everyone! Concerned Taxpayers of Michigan paid only $300,000 for ads, mailers, and the distribution of the truth. Safe Roads Yes had contributions from places like MITA (Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Authority) to the tune of $3 million. That wasteful spending could have been used on our roads.

May 5th, 2015 we will be voting on this terrible plan created by the special interests. There are so many other ways to make Michigan's roads better without making it harder to live here.

Read about the Bolger Plan to the left. It's one of many possibilities that don't require the HIGHEST TAX INCREASE IN OVER 60 YEARS!


Talk to your friends and family. Tell them to go vote on May 5th, 2015 and vote NO on Proposal 1. There are some polls out there stating that Prop 1 will not pass. This is how elections are lost. It makes people feel they don't need to vote because it won't pass anyway. Don't you believe it. Get out and Vote! 

DO NOT BELIEVE THE THREATS!!!! Our Proposed Options that have been Ignored by Democrats: the Bolger Plan, Cutting Wasteful Spending, Eliminate Bailouts, etc. Here's their plan. VOTE YES, OR DIE! Their ads are lies and misleading. They are the Road Commission Unions who would get the contracts to fix our infrastructure. The Farm Bureau that wants to control our agriculture. Cities that take bribes ($50 million dollars was given to Detroit just to get some of our legislators to vote yes to the proposal making it to a ballot - this deal has already been done). DON'T Give in to BIG BUSINESS! Keep the special interests and cronies out of our lives. The ad below was paid for by Business Leaders For Michigan, PAC II, out of Detroit who made $50 million (general fund money that could go to help fix our roads).

Proposal 15-1 is the largest TAX HIKE / SCHEME in over 60 years. This ad is paid for by the Coalition Against Higher Taxes and Special Interests, a non-profit organization. 

Representative Tom McMillen (R - District 45) - Op-Ed on Prop 1: Sums it Up

Proposal 1 would have voters condone and participate in the worst aspects of lawmaking they loathe in their politicians. It is a massive package of unrelated bills, cobbled together to get special interests on board. It is 46,000 words of details, few of which are noted on the ballot language, leaving voters to "pass it to find out what's in it." It was a hastily thrown-together package said to be needed to address an emergency, when the emergency was created in the first place by the politicians now pushing it.

Not to mention the substance of the proposal, which is so far outside the mainstream--massive tax increases for a glut of new spending--that we can only gape in awe at its audacity.

There are at least three ways to prove that Proposal 1's massive tax increases, about $200 per year for every man, woman, and child in Michigan, are unnecessary.

First, simply observe that Michigan's budget rose about $4.7 billion from fiscal year 2012 to FY 2015. The tax increases "only" raise about $2 billion annually. New taxes would only offset new spending, and obviously, this new spending hasn't gone to roads.

Second, consider that the state House passed a plan last year to fully fix and fund roads without any tax increases, by simply prioritizing new spending. This proposal was blocked by the governor last December, but will certainly get a new hearing if voters reject tax increases on May 5.

Finally, stop and notice that this situation is entirely ridiculous. Roads are an ordinary budget item in forty-nine states. They should be a mundane part of mundane budget discussions, not some political hostage brought before voters to demand higher taxes than ever before.

The governor essentially says, "pass these tax increases, or you may die on our roads," while he is the principal roadblock to legislation to fix our roads without tax increases.

If voters reject the proposal, the legislature will have a mandate to fix roads without massive tax increases. If they approve the proposal, expect more stunts like this in the future.

There are five weeks remaining before the May 5 election.

Thanks for all you do for prosperity in Michigan,

Rep. Tom McMillin

As stated earlier, the polls say that the Proposal won't pass. That does not mean you can stay home. GO VOTE MAY 5th, 2015!

This video is about 30 minutes. Here's our Governor, Governor Snyder, spinning the truth. I feel so betrayed by him.