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Why would Michigan do that?

March 23, 2009 - Blaine Hyska
If I was the ruler of Michigan, I would make vehicle purchases as painless as possible.

It seems to be a natural fit — car makers and car buyers; Detroit and the American driving public.

That doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead of helping Detroit, Michigan lawmakers have made the whole car-ownership experience seem like torture.

It’s probably too late to save Detroit, but if a foreign country takes over as the world’s automaker, then I think Michigan ought to get a lot of the blame.

Let’s start with taxes.

Why does the state have to tax your car every time you sell it? If a 2009 vehicle is sold every year until for the next 15 to 20 years, the state gets its 6 percent cut with every sale.

Why would Michigan do that?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to make Michigan THE place to buy a car? I can see it now. “Come to Michigan. No taxes on vehicle sales.”

Wow. Car-buyers from other states would come running. And they’d buy more than cars. They would visit, stay in motels, eat at restaurants, and generally spend money like tourists.

Instead of taxes on cars, the state would get the taxes from the other sales.

And then there’s insurance.

Once you get your car, and pay your mandatory sales tax, you’re faced with possibly the dumbest auto insurance law ever — Michigan no-fault.

Everyone, it seems, has a horror story about Michigan no-fault.

Why would lawmakers in Michigan — home to Motor City — create such a horrible system? Do they secretly want to drive people out?

Simply put, Michigan’s auto insurance rates are unafforadable to young drivers. The insurance payment is as much as the car payment. And no-fault is to blame.

You don’t see all those Wisconsin license plates around town because they’re visiting.

Do you blame them?


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