Taking people's money is getting more and more expensive, according to the state budget.
The cost of collecting taxes for the state of Michigan has jumped 53 percent in the last eight years, after adjusting for inflation, despite a small decline in the number of employees.
In 2005, there were 339 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) working on "tax compliance" with a budget of $27.2 million, according to the state budget. By 2013, that cost is projected to be $41.6 million with 333 FTEs.
"Turns out we're paying more and more each year for them to harass us just as much as they used to," said James Hohman, a fiscal policy analyst with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
From 2005-2013, there was an additional $11.2 million in "economic adjustments," which was described as employee wages, insurance, retirement, etc., according to Ben Gielczyk, a fiscal analyst with the House Fiscal Agency.
"It makes complete and total sense that tax collectors are rewarded handsomely," said Leon Drolet, chairman of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. "Every organization rewards those who bring home the bacon. The government is rewarding those who keep them in business."
In 2010, the state added 20 FTEs for "revenue enhancement programs" and in 2010 and 2011, the stated added a combined 19 FTEs to deal with the Michigan Business Tax.
The Michigan Business Tax was described as complicated with numerous loopholes by its critics. Ending it was one of Gov. Rick Snyder's first actions in office.
"Can an honest citizen, or an honest businessman, comply with an increasingly-complex tax system?" Hohman said. "Is the increase in tax compliance unjustly punishing people for not being able to catch up with complexity?"