FentonSays What Fenton Says: Proposed Closing of the Secretary of State Office in Fenton - Gas and Tax Analysis
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Friday, September 14, 2007


Proposed Closing of the Secretary of State Office in Fenton - Gas and Tax Analysis

In a recent Tri-County Times article is was stated that in 2006 the Secretary of State Office in Fenton, Michigan had 104,532 transactions. And over 250,000 transactions in the last two years. Further it stated that there would be a $28,000 savings to the State of Michigan if this office closed down. Well, the branch location has been saved ... for now.

Yes. There are still grumblings of the office being closed down next year when the actual lease on the rented space is up.

At first, we didn't have any opinion if the office closed or stayed. Especially in light of the fact that there is another Secretary of State Office just 8 miles away in Grand Blanc. But the Fenton community pulled together and saved it from being shut down this year. It got us to thinking ... what is the cost of closing down the office to the general public.

Let's assume there were 100,000 visits to the branch location in Fenton (keep the math easy). And if a person needed to travel 8 miles each way, that is 16 miles round trip. With 100,000 visits ... that's a total of 1,600,000 extra miles driven.

Let's assume we get good gas mileage at 22 miles per gallon (though we do see a lot of SUV's in town, so this might be a conservative estimate). This would mean that closing down our Secretary of State Office in Fenton would cause us to consume 72,700 more gallons of fuel per year. At just $2.50 per gallon, that comes out to $181,750!!!

Yes, you read that right. In order to "save the State government" $28,000 on their budget, they are going to shift expenditures of $181,750 onto Fenton residents. We have already been subjected to increased property taxes (don't give us the "it is only a shift" line of garbage!), higher liquor taxes, higher cigarette taxes and increases to business taxes. Now we are being asked to shell out $181,750 more to take care of our business with the State. This isn't fair.

Now, let's take this another step forward. What would this change mean by way of increasing taxes collected. According to this site, there is a 19 cent per gallon State tax on gasoline. At an extra 72,700 gallons of gas being consumed, this would generate an additional $13,813 in gas tax revenue to the State. Furthermore, gas purchases are subjected to our 6% (there is discussion of Jennifer Granholm wanting to raise this to 7% soon) State Sales Tax. Using $2.50 per gallon as an estimate, this would generate an additional $10,905 in sales taxes!

This excludes the Federal taxes on gasoline. Oh yes, the Federal Government gets its pound of flesh in this, too.

Enough is enough!!

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