This news comes via the December 2007 issue of State Legislatures magazine which reports that the State of Michigan "loses US$10 million per year" - correction State Legislatures editors, TAXPAYERS ARE LOSING $10 MILLION PER YEAR OUT OF THEIR POCKETS -- due to smuggling.
Yes smugglers (others might call them "entrepreneurs" or "arbitragers") from Michigan's neighboring states of Ohio and Indiana - states which do not have a bottle deposit law which is currently 10 cents per container for products purchased in Michigan.
Imagine the distorted economics the State of Michigan has created here -- despite historically high gasoline prices people ("smugglers" as the article says) are still able to transport empty bottles from Ohio and Indiana to Michigan to collect 10 cents per bottle AND make money while doing it!!!
So should Ohio and Indiana state governments simply create a 10 cent bottle deposit law to help Michigan taxpayers? No, why not let the good citizens of Michigan continue paying out tax dollars to clean up the environment while also create income for the smugglers. Given the economic basket care which Michigan is today I would not be surprised that some of these smugglers are Michigan residents who are simply trying to make a living.
Yes instead of worrying about how to tinker with the bottle deposit law the State of Michigan (one of the few states with a FULL TIME state legislature which meets throughout the year) should do things like the following list to boost their economy:
- Turn Michigan into a right to work state to save their auto industry from the labor unions that are driving them into bankruptcy
- Elimination of their state income and corporate income tax
- Elect a mayor that will actually work with property owners to clean up Detroit's burned out ( resulting from the 1968/69 race riots) downtown buildings
- Create an aggressive foreign exchange program for high school and college students (via tax credits) with Canada to drive greater free trade opportunities via NAFTA simply by getting people to develop personal connections to overcome anti-free trade rhetoric from labor unions
Walk the ditches,