ELIMINATE FEE FOR SPECIAL REGISTRATION PLATES
House Bill 4680 as reported from committee
Sponsor: Rep. Jewell Jones
House Bill 4681 as reported from committee
Sponsor: Rep. Joe Tate
House Bill 4682 as reported from committee
Sponsor: Rep. Terry J. Sabo
House Bill 4683 as reported from committee
Sponsor: Rep. Gary Howell
House Bill 4684 as reported from committee
Sponsor: Rep. Hank Vaupel
1st Committee: Military, Veterans and Homeland Security
2nd Committee: Ways and Means
Complete to 2-11-20
Taken together, House Bills 4680 through 4684 would amend various sections of the Michigan Vehicle Code to allow certain service members of the United States Armed Forces to apply for or renew a special registration plate without being required to pay a service fee for the plate.
Currently under the Code, application for a special registration plate denoting military service must be made on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and be accompanied by any proof that the applicant is eligible for the plate as the Secretary of State may require. A $5 service fee is required when applying for a special registration plate or when the Secretary of State issues new plates for a special registration plate renewal.
The bills would eliminate the service fee described above. They would apply to the following special registration plates under the following sections of the Vehicle Code:
· House Bill 4680: for a person who was or is a member of any branch of the armed services, the National Guard, or the military reserve (section 803i).
· House Bill 4681: for a person who was a prisoner of war or whose spouse was a prison of war; who is a World War I veteran; who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as a member of the armed services; or who is a recipient of the Purple Heart medal (section 803e) or for a person who is a totally disabled veteran with an honorable discharge from the armed services (section 803f).
· House Bill 4682: for a person who was a member or whose spouse was a member of the armed services, the National Guard, or the military reserve during the Persian Gulf War or the conflict in Panama, Grenada, or Lebanon (section 803n).
· House Bill 4683: for a person who was a member or whose spouse was a member of the armed services during the Korean War (section 803j).
· House Bill 4684: for a person who was a member or whose spouse was a member of the armed services during the Vietnam War (section 803k).
The bills are reciprocally tie-barred to one another and to Senate Bills 354, 355, and 356. (See Background, below.) A bill cannot take effect if another bill to which it is tie-barred is not also enacted.
As introduced, Senate Bills 354, 355, and 356, to which these bills are reciprocally tie-barred, would amend the Vehicle Code to do the following:
· Senate Bill 354: Create a special registration plate for women veterans (proposed section 803a).
· Senate Bill 355: Eliminate the $5 service fee for a special registration plate for a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient or a person who was a member or whose spouse was a member of the armed services during World War II (sections 217d and 803l). The bill would also eliminate a $5 fee for duplicate or replacement veterans special registration plates and exempt veterans special registration plates from a $5 service fee for distinctive or commemorative plates issued under the act (section 804).
· Senate Bill 356: Eliminate the $5 service fee for a person who was a member or whose spouse was a member of the armed services, the National Guard, or the United States Armed Forces Reserve and who was called to active duty during a declared war or an armed conflict in which the United States was a participant (section 803o).
The bills would decrease state restricted fee revenue to the Department of State by approximately $130,000 annually. The amount of forgone revenue would likely decrease incrementally as the veteran population in Michigan gradually diminishes. All fees eliminated by the bill are currently deposited into the Transportation Administration Collection Fund (TACF) to support various needs of the Secretary of State for administering vehicle registrations.
A representative of the Office of the Secretary of State testified in support of the bills.
The following organizations indicated support for the bills:
· National Guard Association of Michigan (12-10-19)
· Veterans of Foreign Wars (12-10-19)
· American Legion Department of Michigan (11-5-19)
Fiscal Analyst: Michael Cnossen
■ This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency staff for use by House members in their deliberations, and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.