Brandenburg and Hansen to lead Legislative Waterways Caucus

Brandenburg and Hansen to lead Legislative Waterways Caucus

LANSING―State Sens. Goeff Hansen and Jack Brandenburg announced today that they will co-chair the new Legislative Waterways Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers who have agreed to work together to address issues of importance to the Great Lakes.

Hansen, R-Hart, said the caucus will be a forum for a variety of Great Lakes concerns, such as invasive species, Asian carp, low lake levels, tourism and recreation.

“As co-chair of the Legislative Waterways Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues on issues affecting our most treasured natural jewel,” Hansen said. “Michigan has an abundance of natural resources, and our waterways are a key part of the lifestyle, tourism industry and local economy of many Great Lakes coastal communities.”

Hansen said the caucus is ready to tackle the many challenges facing the Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland rivers and streams, and they look forward to working with colleagues from both parties and both chambers to help preserve Michigan’s waterways for generations.

Ultimate success will also require the cooperation of the administration, he said.

“I applaud the governor for his most recent commitment to working with us to devise a long-term, state-based solution on the issue of harbor dredging. He will be an important ally in our efforts,” Hansen said. “I am confident this caucus will find solutions to the dredging problem.”

Co-chair Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, said he is eager to get started.

“There are glaring problems with Michigan’s waterways, and I am excited to start working toward solutions and tackling some of these issues,” Brandenburg said.

State Reps. Al Pscholka and Charles Brunner are the caucus co-chairs in the House. 

“This caucus will address critical issues facing Michigan’s waterways from dredging in recreational harbors to promoting boating and tourism opportunities in our state,” said Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and across the aisle to discuss these issues in a bipartisan fashion to promote Michigan’s waterways.”


Brandenburg on board with changes to tax code

Brandenburg on board with changes to tax code

LANSING–Legislation that would boost industry while lessening the tax burden on Michigan residents was approved by the Senate Finance Committee, said chairman state Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

“This is a tax break that everyone stands to benefit from,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “It will serve as a shot in the arm for two of our state’s major industries while lessening the tax burden on residents.”

Senate Bills 89 and 90 would amend the Sales and Use Tax Act to exclude taxation on trade-in values of used cars and boats when the trade-in value is being applied to a new or used car or boat. The package creates a ten-year phase-in for the program.

Starting June 1, 2013, only ten percent of the agreed upon value will be exempt; and this amount will increase by ten percent each year until 2022 when it reaches 100 percent. After that, the entire value of the trade-in may be exempt.

“Michigan is one of only six states and the only Great Lakes state that taxes trade-in values,” Brandenburg said. “This puts Michigan at a major competitive disadvantage. I want to make Michigan as competitive as possible.” 

SBs 89 and 90 now advance to the full Senate for consideration.