Reciprocity agreement pursued to aid Michigan timber haulers

October 6, 2021

Keith Goble

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

The Michigan House Transportation Committee recently held a hearing on the bill package.

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

Another bill, HB4977, would allow the Michigan Department of Treasury to set fuel tax reciprocity agreements with the state of Wisconsin. Specifically, the agency would allow 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.

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.

Support voiced for change

Supporters say the change 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 spoke in opposition to the bill package at the hearing.

The bills await further consideration in the House Transportation Committee. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Michigan.

 

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Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.