MARQUETTE — Last week, state representative Beau LaFave recently voted in favor of two bills aimed at providing income tax relief to Michigan families and to end driver responsibility fees. ABC 10 spoke with LaFave about the two measures.
The first bill repeals driver responsibility fees, which were passed fifteen years ago. LaFave said the fees were a to compensate for a shortfall in the budget over a decade ago.
The driver responsibility fee is paid by drivers who receive a DUI or careless driving ticket, in addition to other fees such as court costs.
“Fifteen years was fifteen too much. The thing that we don’t want to do is criminalize making a mistake more than once. These people paid their debt to society, there’s no reason to balance the budget off of people that make a mistake,” said LaFave.
According to a press release, the legislation also creates a grace period from enactment of the bill through December 31st that enables drivers to get their licenses back without paying a $125 restoration fee. People on monthly plans will receive immediate forgiveness and others may participate in workplace development training programs to regain their driver’s licenses prior to October 1st.
The second measure, which also passed in the state legislature, increases the amount of money a family can earn before they start paying state income taxes. If passed, Michigan tax payers would be able to continue claiming personal exemptions on their income taxes and the state personal exemption would increase from the current $4,000 to $4,900 by the 2021 tax year.
It is estimated that this bill will save Michigan families hundred of dollars overall, which LaFave believes will be reinvested into the local economy.
“They’re going to spend it on their families. They’re going to spend it in the local community shopping stores and helping out the economy. I think it’s going to help us succeed and I think it’s going to make a better business climate in Michigan, help produce more jobs and get us moving forward,” said LaFave.
Both measures now move to the governor for consideration.