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Michigan Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto On Car Tax Bills

Jan 18, 2018

Michigan State Capitol
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The state Legislature went over the governor’s head Wednesday.  It approved a veto override – something that hasn’t happened in Michigan since 2002.


The bills speed up the phase-out of the sales tax on the value of a trade-in when buying a new vehicle.  Governor Rick Snyder vetoed them last year because of budget concerns.  But Speaker of the House Tom Leonard says he’s not worried about the budget.  

“Since I’ve been here, it seems like that we’ve continued to put the state’s budget over the individual budgets of each of our hardworking citizens,” he said.

The Legislature and governor have butted heads recently over other potential tax cuts.

“I know that he doesn’t care for it, but again, I represent families – as does he – and I think the notation that government needs more money than our families is preposterous,” said Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive). 

The override required a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate.  That meant a bipartisan effort with the entire Senate voting in favor. 

“It’s a bad tax,” said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) after the Senate vote.  “It was a bad tax yesterday, it was a bad tax last month, it was a bad tax last year.  It was wrong in the first place, we never should have had it in place and we’re finally fixing it.”

In a statement, Governor Snyder said the state shouldn’t change the tax code without a plan in place to pay for it.  He said the state needs long-term financial planning to maintain its comeback. 

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org