As the Sept. 30 deadline approaches for adopting a Fiscal Year 2009-2010 state budget, there is considerable angst among the political class about the agreement House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, which is characterized as a "cuts-only" solution to the massive gap between the amount legislators would like to spend and the amount of taxes and fees the state expects to collect (a.k.a. "the deficit").

That "cuts only" is a bit of a stretch, since it ignores almost $2 billion in federal "stimulus" money included in the budget, but I quibble: There will indeed be some long-delayed reductions in many spending areas. The prospect of which is generating a lot of scurrying in the form of new tax increase proposals. On just one day last week, Michigan legislators introduced 25 bills that would increase taxes. These were:

  • Senate Bill 833 (Impose tax on international phone calls) Introduced by Sen. Deborah Cherry (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent use tax on international phone calls. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100739
  • Senate Bill 834 (Impose sales tax on uncollected bills) Introduced by Sen. Michael Prusi (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent sales tax on 20 percent of the bad debt on a merchant’s credit sales. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100740
  • Senate Bill 836 (Reduce merchants tax collection administration fee) Introduced by Sen. Michael Prusi (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to reduce by 20 percent the modest fee or deduction that is allowed for merchants in return for collecting and remitting use tax. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100742
  • Senate Bill 837 (Reduce merchants tax collection administration fee) Introduced by Sen. Michael Switalski (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to reduce by 20 percent the modest fee or deduction that is allowed for merchants in return for collecting and remitting sales tax. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100743
  • Senate Bill 838 (Create legislative “vehicle” for business tax hike) Introduced by Sen. Michael Switalski (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to make non-substantive wording changes to the Michigan Business Tax act. This is a parliamentary device sometimes used for quickly adopting a tax increase in the event the votes are found for one as part of the process of closing a gap between the amount of state spending desired by the administration and many legislators, and the amount of revenue expected in the absence of a tax hike. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100744
  • Senate Bill 839 (Impose tax on bottled water) Introduced by Sen. Deborah Cherry (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose an excise tax of 1 cent per bottle on bottled water. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100745
  • Senate Bill 840 (Levy use tax on certain products and services) Introduced by Sen. Michael Switalski (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent use tax on international phone calls, toll-free “800” calls, food and ingredients sold from vending machines; on magazines; on free meals to restaurant employees; on certain water pollution control facility equipment; on rolling stock purchased, rented, or leased by an interstate fleet motor carrier; and on credit sales by a merchant who ends up never getting paid (bad debts). http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100746
  • Senate Bill 842 (Raise tax on “little cigars”) Introduced by Sen. Michael Switalski (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose a tax of 32 percent of the wholesale price on “little cigars.” This is projected to take $6.3 million. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100749
  • Senate Bill 843 (Increase income tax collection authorized under current statute) Introduced by Sen. Michael Switalski (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to suspend the annual inflation-indexed increase in the personal exemption allowed under state income tax for the 2009 tax year. Also, to impose the 4.35 state income tax on “expenses incurred in the production of income” that is not subject to the income tax. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100750
  • Senate Bill 844 (Levy sales tax on some currently exempt products) Introduced by Sen. Michael Switalski (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent sales tax on food and ingredients sold from vending machines; on magazines; on free meals to restaurant employees; on certain water pollution control facility equipment; and on credit sales by a merchant who ends up never getting paid (bad debts). http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100751
  • House Bill 5384 (Create legislative “vehicle” for business tax hike) Introduced by Rep. George Cushingberry (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to make non-substantive wording changes to the Michigan Business Tax act. This is a parliamentary device sometimes used for quickly adopting a tax increase in the event the votes are found for one as part of the process of closing a gap between the amount of state spending desired by most legislators, and the amount of revenue expected in the absence of a tax hike. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100695
  • House Bill 5385 (Impose new tax on doctors) Introduced by Rep. George Cushingberry (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose a 4 percent gross revenue tax on doctors. This would be a “Medicaid Quality Assurance Assessment” (MMQAA) tax that is used by the state to collect more federal Medicaid matching funds. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100696
  • House Bill 5386 (Impose tax on carbonated soft drinks) Introduced by Rep. George Cushingberry (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose an excise tax of 1 cent per bottle on carbonated soft drinks. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100697
  • House Bill 5387 (Impose tax on bottled water) Introduced by Rep. Alma Smith (D) on Sept.17, 2009, to impose an excise tax of 1 cent per bottle on bottled water. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100698
  • House Bill 5388 (Impose tax on bottled water) Introduced by Rep. George Cushingberry (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose an excise tax of 20 cents per gallon on bottled water. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100699
  • House Bill 5390 (Levy use tax on certain products and services) Introduced by Rep. George Cushingberry (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent use tax on rolling stock purchased, rented, or leased by an interstate fleet motor carrier. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100701
  • House Bill 5391 (Revise “Internet tax” system detail) Introduced by Rep. Shanelle Jackson (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to accommodate use tax on rolling stock to revise details of the “Streamlined Sales Tax” project being pursued by Michigan and most states, which if allowed by Congress would create a centralized system for states to collect use or sales tax on out-of-state internet or catalog purchases, so as to accommodate the extension of the 6 percent sales and use taxes proposed by House Bills 5390 and 5392 to rolling stock purchased, rented, or leased by an interstate fleet motor carrier. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100702
  • House Bill 5392 (Levy sales tax on certain products and services) Introduced by Rep. Shanelle Jackson (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent sales tax on rolling stock purchased, rented, or leased by an interstate fleet motor carrier. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100703
  • House Bill 5393-5409 (Appropriations: Supplemental budget) Introduced by Rep. Shanelle Jackson (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to provide a template or "place holder" for a potential supplemental multidepartment appropriation for Fiscal Year 2009-2010. Note: This would accommodate proposals to adopt a budget that includes no taxes before the fiscal year begins, while then passing tax hikes and supplemental budgets to spend them afterwards. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100704
  • House Bill 5417 (Levy use tax on uncollected bills) Introduced by Rep. Alma Smith (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent use tax on 20 percent of the bad debt on a merchant’s credit sales. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100728
  • House Bill 5418 (Levy sales tax on uncollected bills) Introduced by Rep. Alma Smith (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent sales tax on 20 percent of the bad debt on a merchant’s credit sales. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100729
  • House Bill 5419 (Impose tax on international phone calls) Introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent use tax on international phone calls. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100730
  • House Bill 5420 (Increase income tax collection authorized under current statute) Introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to suspend the annual inflation-indexed increase in the personal exemption allowed under state income tax for the 2009 tax year. Also, to impose the 4.35 state income tax on “expenses incurred in the production of income” that is not subject to the income tax. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100731
  • House Bill 5421 (Impose tax on international phone calls) Introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose the 6 percent use tax on international phone calls. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100732
  • House Bill 5422 (Reduce merchants tax collection administration fee) Introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to reduce by 20 percent the modest fee or deduction that is allowed for merchants in return for collecting and remitting sales tax. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100733

But wait, there’s more! No legislative day would be complete without throwing some red meat to unions and environmentalists, so these two bills were also offered:

  • Senate Bill 830 (Allow unions to take PAC money from worker paychecks without annual permission) Introduced by Sen. Michael Prusi (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to eliminate a requirement that employees affirm annually that they want paycheck deductions to go into a union or corporate PAC. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100736
  • House Bill 5383 (Impose “low carbon fuel” mandate plus "cap & trade") Introduced by Rep. Lee Gonzales (D) on Sept. 17, 2009, to impose a “low carbon fuel” mandate that requires producers to meet the “maximum technologically feasible and cost effective greenhouse gas emissions reductions,” and reduce the aggregate “carbon intensity” of motor vehicle and other fuels by at least 10 percent by 2020. The bill would impose a “cap and trade” type scheme in which refiners whose fuels do not meet the mandated standard would have to pay ones that did meet it. http://www.michiganvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=100694