Michigan House panel advances reciprocity with Wisconsin for certain loads

October 22, 2021

Keith Goble


A bill package moving through the Michigan House would provide reciprocity for timber haulers who must cross the state’s border into Wisconsin.

The Michigan House Transportation Committee has voted to advance legislation to make the change.

The first bill, HB4978, would exempt certain timber haulers from the International Fuel Tax Agreement.

The second bill, HB4977, would allow the Michigan Department of Treasury to set fuel tax reciprocity agreements with other states. Specifically, the agency would permit the transport of raw forest products within 30 air miles of the state border.

Affected loads would include logs, posts, poles, wood chips, sawdust and Christmas trees not altered by a manufacturing process off the land.

Rep. Gregory Markkanen, R-Hancock, said during committee testimony while the state of Wisconsin is the focus, the agreement would also apply to other states.

Wisconsin already has fuel tax reciprocity agreements for timber loads crossing into Iowa and Minnesota.

One more bill, HB4976, would exempt affected interstate carriers from the collection of streamlined sales and use tax under fuel tax reciprocity agreements.

HB4976 and HB4978 are tie-barred to HB4977. The distinction requires the passage of all three bills for changes to be implemented.

Supporters advocate change

Supporters say the reciprocity changes would eliminate unnecessary paperwork for both log haulers and state employees that has little value for each. Additionally, the change is estimated to be revenue neutral on the state budget and transportation funding because fuel tax will still apply to fuel purchased in Michigan.

Rep. Gregory Markkanen, R-Hancock, said the legislation is intended to streamline government influence.

“These bills would set up an agreement between the two states that the Michigan Department of Treasury currently cannot do.”

No one has spoken in opposition to the bill package.

The bills await further consideration in the House. If approved there, the trio of bills would head to the Senate. LL

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