State Rep. News & Updates

Howell: Veto override helps Michigan auto industry, vehicle buyers

Legislation accelerates sales tax trade-in reforms

2018/01/17: State Rep. Gary Howell has voted to accelerate sales tax relief for Michigan car buyers, joining his House colleagues in overriding a gubernatorial veto.

The House vote means additional tax relief for people buying cars, trucks and SUVs with a trade-in. Current law calls for phasing in planned sales and use tax deductions on purchases including a trade-in through 2039. With today’s vote, the reductions will be fully implemented a decade earlier.

“Michigan’s auto industry leads the nation. It’s critical to our economy,” said Howell, of North Branch, after the House joined the Senate in overriding a veto by Gov. Rick Snyder. “We must do all we can to keep the auto industry strong, and this measure will help boost sales in Michigan.”

The Senate bills overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature were vetoed by the governor in July.

“There are times when I have to disagree with a governor from my own party, and this is one of those times,” Howell said.

The new law speeds reforms approved in 2013, allowing buyers to subtract the value of their trade-ins from the purchase price of a vehicle for sales tax purposes. The accelerated sales tax relief also will apply to boats and recreational vehicles bought with a trade-in.


Two local Lapeer County communities awarded DEQ water management grants

2018/01/12: State Rep. Gary Howell today announced that the village of North Branch and Elba Township have each been awarded grants from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to improve wastewater and storm water management.

Howell, of North Branch, said that the DEQ provides funds to local communities to assist in the planning, design and testing of storm water and wastewater facilities. Ordinarily, a local 10 percent match is required for the first $1 million in project costs.

“Among the many obligations local governments have to families in their communities is ensuring that they have clean and safe water,” Howell said. “These grants will enable the village of North Branch and Elba Township to be better stewards of the environment and maintain the public health and well-being of people in their communities.”

The $425,500 grant to North Branch will be used to develop both a wastewater and a storm water asset management plan. The DEQ has identified North Branch as a community that will not be required to provide the 10 percent local match.

Elba Township will use the funding to develop a wastewater asset management plan. Grant activities will focus on the Potters Lake Sanitary Drainage District. Development of the asset management plan will allow the township to move from reactive – to predictive – maintenance and minimize the risk of failure of critical components.

Collectively, the statewide grant awards total $64 million for 80 communities.