(The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the proposed 2025 budget wouldn’t raise taxes but it would dump a 1,200% increase in trash fees onto local taxpayers.
The budget aims to raise the landfill tipping fee rate for state landfills from 36 cents to $5 per ton – a 1,288% increase.
Whitmer posted on social media: “Have you heard? Our new balanced budget does a whole lot. But it doesn’t raise taxes.”
Whitmer must raise revenue to fund her proposed taxpayer-funded pre-kindergarten and community college for all high school graduates as well as brownfield site remediation.
Mike Alaimo, Michigan Chamber of Commerce director of environmental and energy affairs, told The Center Square the fee hike is a “tax” on Michiganders.
“Any tipping fee increase is a tax on businesses and communities in Michigan,” Alaimo said in a phone interview. “It’s just going to be something that’s a pass-through cost everybody has to incur in one way or another.”
The fee increase aims to raise $80 million in new revenue to start remediating about 12,000 contaminated orphan sites statewide.
If enacted, Alaimo said the new fee could increase the waste management cost of local schools up to $300,000 per year.
It’s unclear what support the proposal has among Democrats.
Whitmer’s budget proposal says the fee increase would “help ensure corporations and out-of-state parties pay their fair share to use state landfills by bringing Michigan in line with other Midwest states. This equalization will also increase site readiness and reduce the amount of refuse debris coming into the state.”