These are the current issues we are dealing with in the 42nd District of Michigan and my positions on those issues:
Small business: There is no debate, even with the elimination of the ‘business tax’ our small businesses are still taxed out of business everyday in our state. The amount of regulations, fees, excessive licensing are simply deterrents for potential entrepreneurs. Michigan’s small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy. Why then are we discouraging job creation and crippling our small businesses? It makes no sense whatsoever. A Michigan bar and restaurant, for example, has so many licenses and yearly fees that they are forced to pay it is mind boggling. How are they expected to survive? In many or even most cases, bar owners and restaurateurs must at any given time carry and keep up to date 10-20 different licenses. Often times they are paying the exact same fees to three different levels of government — city, county and state. There is no communication between these agencies. We must stop regulating our small businesses out of business.
Education: My opponent is fixated on his version of education reform. What Representative Rogers supports is not reform at all; it an extension of a failed, bloated and ineffective system. He actually wishes to expand it via government mandated ‘P-20′ education. Instead of fixing the problems, he wants to impose the will of the government on young, voting adults (18-20), remove more parental rights, and expand big government. What needs to be done is: the special interests (who support Rogers) union and administrative PACs need to be put in the corner and told, “you’ve had your turn” and that they’ll be invited back to the discussion when those stuck in the middle of the perpetual ‘tug-o-war’, taxpayers and parents get to have their say. Only then can proactive, special interest free dialog occur. I will do everything I can to make that happen.
Non-homestead property tax: Michigan is one of the top property-taxing states in the nation. The state penalizes property owners at one of the highest rates in the country. Livingston County is one of the highest in the state. Michigan, however, takes this a step further via the non-homestead property tax (20%-over 60% above homestead tax). What this tax does is: 1) Penalizes the hard work of Livingston County residents that wish to purchase vacation homes, and 2) Deters investment. Both of these hurt job growth and investment in local communities. Michigan has a massive surplus of single family homes (Which includes cottages). Why are both the Republicans and Democrats oblivious to this issue, and not creating a solution? The solution: Eliminating the non-homestead property tax. Then we can move on to reducing primary residence property taxes. I will introduce legislation, on day one, to eliminate this investment deterring state money grab. Livingston County residents should never have their life’s hard work punished and we must stop deterring investment in Michigan.
Right to work: I believe the right of the individual is inalienable. Government serves no GREATER purpose than the protection of that right. This includes the right to work. When we look at the “Right to Work” laws we realize that in essence the laws purpose is to protect the individuals rights to choose. Choose where to work. Who to work for and to what extent your work is valued. I do not believe it is a means to eliminate unions. In its provisions this allows for the creation and memberships to unions but does not make it mandatory to be in the union to pursue employment.
The Bridge: I believe the role of government local or state or federal serves the purpose to protect contract law and enforce the law. As such, I believe the bridge and other bridges should be privately funded and managed. And if you need evidence of how well that can work, just travel the well maintained toll roads of Ohio.