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Readers, on Michigan roads, tax fairness

Young driver: Fix the roads

The article from November 13, 2014, titled, “Michigan senate approves road tax hike,” concerns the Michigan Senate passing a new gas tax. This issue is a very important to me, and I think the increased gas tax is the right choice.

As a student and young driver, I really like smooth roads without potholes. The poor condition of Michigan’s roads is a safety concern. As an example, last winter my dad hit a pothole and busted his wheel, which put him in danger and cost significant money to repair.

Furthermore, I am going to be driving on these Michigan roads for the rest of my life, so I would rather pay a few cents more per gallon for gas than dodge potholes. In the end, a few extra dollars in taxes will save a lot of money on car repairs.

As we brace for another Michigan winter, our government needs to act to increase our gas tax.

Hannah Egan, Livonia

Taxation without representation

Mr. Peter Rose can turn up the rhetoric about Internet sales tax “to 11” and it won’t change the unfairness of the misnamed Marketplace Fairness Act. Allowing every state and local government in America to enforce their tax laws on every business using the Internet is fundamentally unfair and a recipe for disaster.

Mr. Rose is a business owner. His business only owes taxes to the governments where his business operates. His business can only be audited by those governments. Those are governments that represent him. The so-called Marketplace Fairness Act fundamentally changes that equation for all businesses, but especially small businesses, that use the Internet. Instead, a business on the Internet would owe taxes to governments everywhere they have a customer. They will face audits by all those states. They will face tax litigation in all those states, not just in the states where the business operates.

The principle of no taxation without representation is more than something for history books. If businesses face taxes and tax enforcement from unaccountable, far-away governments, it is unfair, undemocratic and ripe for abuse. The U.S. House of Representatives was right to block this state tax power grab and demand a solution that treats a small business on the Internet like every other small business, meaning tax enforcement only from governments that represent them. That’s the rule Mr. Rose’s business lives under, and it should stay that way.

Phil Bond, executive director, WE R HERE Coalition, Alexandria, Virginia