For the second time in a year, a bill that would deny motorists their license if they have three unpaid parking tickets has been introduced. This time, it is GOP state Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, sponsoring Senate Bill 130. His bill lowers from six to three the number of unpaid parking tickets necessary to have your license renewal denied by the Secretary of State.
A similar bill was proposed in July 2010 by Rep. Roy Schmidt, D-Grand Rapids. It was passed by the Democrat-controlled House but not given a vote by the GOP-run Senate.
“There are a lot of municipalities that are struggling with tough budget times,” HIldenbrand said, explaining his bill.
He said the bill would get the money due to municipalities from motorists who did not obey local ordinances.
But Leon Drolet, chairman of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, said the bill was not about public safety.
“In a way, it’s a sin tax,” Drolet said. “It is easier to extort money from people who are in the process of sinning. Somehow, the lawmakers consider that a weakness and an opportunity to extract more revenue.”
Drolet said in some cities like Lansing or Royal Oak, a motorist could get three parking tickets in a month. And then, because some might not be able to afford the parking fines, they would drive without a driver’s license and break a more serious law.
“When government adopts policies that make it increasingly common for every day citizens to be forced into breaking the law in order to continue their otherwise legal lives, it becomes problematic,” he said.