Trash Tax

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

Every time a ton of trash gets dumped in a Michigan landfill, the state charges 21 cents. The bill passed by the state house makes it $7.50--that's an increase of more than 3,500 percent.

It is every bit intentional from Democrats who sponsored the bill.

"Every day we delay attacking the economics of this special interest industry just gets us further and further into a hole," says Rep. Kate Ebli, a Democrat from Monroe, Michigan where trash is dumped from out-of-state.

"We're bringing in 6 million tons a year of other people's garbage."

An extra fee, she says, is worth it. "We're already paying the price of being the Great Waste State here in Michigan."

The problem, Michigan Chamber of Commerce Director of Environmental and Energy Policy Doug Roberts, Jr. says, is that much of Michigan doesn't have out-of-state trash.

The increase will almost certainly be passed on to customers--and the chamber says that only hurts a struggling economy.

Granger in Lansing, for example, does not accept foreign trash.

Roberts says it puts a burden on mid-Michigan residents, who get nothing in return.

The question still left to be answered is where would that extra money go?
That tax would raise about $150 million dollars.

It's tied to a bill that says that money should go back to cities for recycling. That part B bill is yet to be passed.


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