A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

In 2010, legislators found dozens of ways to hike fees on the business community.

Tattoo parlors had their licensing fee increased from $100 to $500. “Genetic counselors” had to pay $40 application fee and $150 a year licensing fee. Fee increases that would harm canoe and kayak businesses, nurses, septic tanks and much else were all also proposed last year.

And to compound the obstacles put in the way of business that must get these licenses and pay the fee hikes, the “rule making authority” of state agencies often allows the agency to impose new regulations on these job providers without first getting Legislative approval.

Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said some previously authorized fees were taken to avoid budget cuts. Some “temporary” fee hikes that had a sunset on them were extended.

State Rep. Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin, has introduced House Bill 4045 so as to stop the state from making any new regulations pertaining to those professions that require licensing.

McHugh is the editor of MichiganVotes.org. The MichiganVotes.org definition of HB 4045 is as follows:

“[Would] prohibit the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth from promulgating any new regulations related to the scores of professional occupations the state has prohibited citizens from pursuing without first getting a government license that is subject to DELEG regulations. If the bill became law, any new regulations would have to be written into statute by the legislature, not imposed by this state agency.”

MacMaster said constituents asked him why their licensing fees were increasing.

“I couldn’t give them an honest answer,” he said. “Our government doesn’t need to be increasing those fees to feed our spending. The cuts should come from the government, not with their fees going up.”

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See also:

How Fees Fuel Big Government

You Do It? They Have a Tax For It

Taxing Canoes and Kayaks

You Do It? They Have a Tax For It

Pols Admit Bad Votes on Bad Driver Fees

FEE-ding the Beast

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