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This Bill Should Become Law [Copy 2]

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 667 times Debate No: 43833
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
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Hello DDO, I've decided to add some variety to the debates section.

I am a high school student who attends a program called Michigan Youth In Government. MYIG:

Attendees of this program must create 'bills', which we must try to pass. For extra details check out that link.

I am Pro for my Bill, and will argue for why it should become law in the State of Michigan. My opponent must argue for why it should not become law in the State of Michigan.

Here's the Bill:

---A bill to mandate the reduction of property taxes for owners of properties that utilize alternative energy.---


Section 1: A bill to mandate the reduction of property taxes for owners of properties that utilize alternative energy.

Section 2: Property tax shall be defined as an annual local governmental tax on real property or personal property based on a tax rate.

Section 3: Real property shall be defined as property which consists of land, and of all rights and profits arising from and annexed to land, of a permanent, immovable nature.

Section 4: Personal property shall be defined as property that is the subject of ownership that does not come under the denomination of real property; any right or interest that an individual has in movable things.

Section 5: Alternative energy shall be defined as wind power, solar power, geothermal energy, and hydroelectric energy.

Section 6: Alternative energy machinery shall be defined as any mechanical device that provides wind power, solar power, geothermal energy, and hydroelectric energy.

Section 7: Property owners who have on their grounds, any form of alternative energy machinery that is being used to power any structure within the boundary of their property, shall receive a property tax reduction.

Section 8: The property tax reduction shall be equal to one half of the cost of the alternative energy machinery. If the property owner does not provide proof of purchase or price, or does not provide the model of machinery that is providing alternative energy, they will not receive the property tax reduction. The property tax will be reduced according to these specifications for one full year, unless one half of the cost of the alternative energy machinery is greater than the property tax before its reduction, in which case the difference of one half the price of the alternative energy machinery and the property tax before reduction will equal the property tax reduction the following year. If necessary, this pattern will be continued until one half the cost of the alternative energy machinery equals the property tax reduction.

Section 9: This bill shall be enforced by the local or regional governments under whose jurisdiction the properties eligible for the property tax reduction are located. The local or regional governments shall confirm the presence of alternative energy machinery that is powering a structure within a property owner's property before approving the tax reduction. The local or regional governments shall confirm the price of the alternative energy machinery before approving the tax reduction.

Section 10: Whether the local or regional governments enforce this law will depend on which of the two ordinarily collects property taxes for the eligible properties.

Section 11: This bill shall go into effect one year after passage.

Bill Brief:

Background Problem: Michigan is not energy efficient. Many people or businesses cannot afford alternative energy machinery on their own, and are thus unable to remedy their energy inefficiencies.

Benefits of Bill's Passage: Major savings could be had if more people used alternative energy. This bill shall be the forerunner for that goal. Any person or business that is wishing to invest in alternative energy for their future, but cannot shoulder the cost of purchasing alternative energy machinery alone, will be greatly assisted and encouraged by this bill, should it pass.

Drawbacks: As with any investment, the short term may put the purchaser of the alternative energy machinery back financially in order to reach energy independence, and the local and regional governments will have to put themselves back to see the overall well-being of their citizens improve.


Thank you for this debate, I hope that I can provide suggestions to you in accomplishing your task and in the End will be able to present a more reasonable offering to your government. I would also like to say that I am not a government agent, or a lawyer, or any other type of agency that would reject, or approve this bill. I'm not even a Michigan voter. For things like formatting and legal issues, I hope that you have some other alternative for addressing these contentions.

After first reading this, I came up with the following reasons why this bill should not Pass.

I do not think this bill should pass as it stands. Although I appreciate the need to address alternative energy in some way that encourages it's uses. The involvement of the Government in this manner has proved to be detrimental.

First of all, this bill is most definitely a subsidies bill. I am against subsidies in all forms including cases like this one where the outcome would apply to a proposed improvement.

Secondly, 50% is too much for a subsidy. Especially considering the current costs of alternative energy. This bill as it stands would require the government (state, or otherwise) to pay the bill for these projects. It would force taxes to rise in some other area to cover the costs.

This bill doesn't cover anything concerning efficiency. I could buy a million dollar piece of machinery that puts out as much energy as a watch battery and have half the cost taken off my taxes without actually creating any energy alternative. Or I could equally place a small expensive form of alternative energy, let's say a solar panel, on an other wise unused section of real property that is connected to a shed but does nothing and is never used.

The bill mentions a confirmation process, but does nothing to either institute a verification department or govern the actions of such a department.

This bill does not address whether or not this is an individual tax, or a business tax. Since both are taxed differently, there needs to be some distinction as to who get the subsidy where, when, and how on the tax forms. This bill would also need some direction concerning a change in the tax forms and assign responsibility for administering those forms.

Individual Section Contention (if not previously stated)

Section 1: Purpose of the bill - no contention.

Section 2: Definition of property tax - if this is the legal definition in your state, no contention.

Section 3: Definition of Real Property - if this is the legal definition of real property in your state, no contention.

Section 4: Definition of Personal Property- if this is the legal definition of personal property in your state, no contention.

Section 5: I think this should be reworded to renewable energy, or energy that is derived form stated sources that originates on the property. Chemical energies that produce harmful by-products should be eliminated as a possible means for alternative energy.

Section 6: Definition of Alternative Energy Machinery - This definition of machinery does not eliminate battery powered equipment. and does not include the necessary clause for the origination of the energy.

Section 7: As I mentioned earlier, a definitive use of the structure should be named. "ANY structure" is too vague. And could include a street lamp, or other non-inhabitable, or non electricity using object. "Any form of alternative energy machinery" is also too vague as a I mentioned concerning Section 6. Perhaps the phrase "qualifiable equipment" should be used.

Let me take a little break right here. If I owned a cow, and I used the manure as fuel for my fire place, would it would qualify as an alternative energy method according to this bill?

Section 8: This section is the greatest point of contention as to why I would not pass this bill and why Michigan should not pass this bill. The subsidy, could be more than the cost of the property tax. I see that you make special recognition of this fact, but there are no limitations as to how much of the property tax can be waived per year. According to this plan, it looks as though the entire tax can be waived indefinitely if the cost of the machinery is high enough. The government would never be able to pay for all the machinery and the price of the machinery would go up because demand would go up. Michigan isn't exactly in a great financial state as it is, could the state really afford to pay for this?

Section 9: Enforced by local or regional governments. I'm not a lawyer, and the state of Michigan may have different laws than I am accustomed to, however, the originating body of government should be the enforcer of the bill. If there are no means to enforce this bill, it is unreasonable. This section also claims that the government should confirm the price of the machinery, but it really should create an agency that confirms the qualifications of the machinery, and provides a method of documenting the confirmation so that it may be applied, and recognized by the taxing agency. I don't know how many sections that you would have to break that into.

Section 10: The specific governing body should be defined as to which agencies are forced to provide which portion of the subsidies and under what conditions. I'm sure that Michigan already has laws defining the nature of Property Tax payment. This law would need to apply directly to the agency controlling the real property taxes. The wording also implies that the enforcement of the law, if any, is totally dependant on the local and regional government.

Section 11: Statement of institution of the bill - no contention.

Areas that I would like to see improved

I think it would be unfair of me to just make claims about why this bill should not pass without offering some solution ideas that you may apply or reject as you wish.

Include a percentage restriction to the amount of property tax that can be waived per year, let's say 20% or less of the amount owed.

Restrict this bill from applying to all forms of alternative energy and apply it only to named sources.

Provide restrictions on the origination of the energy.

Name qualifiable uses of the energy, let's say that 30% or more of a property's energy used must come from this resource as long as the property meets a certain minimum energy requirement need.

Name qualifiable equipment, let's say savings of the energy used must be 1/4 of the cost of the equipment. If I buy a wind turbine, that costs $1000, it would have to save me from paying $250 worth of conventional electricity over a period of 5 years or less. Hmm. My numbers are too high. :(

There should also be some environmental restriction to the machinery itself. Noise produced by the machinery, how much of the land in question can be allotted to the machinery and how much of the land must used for other qualifying purposes. What are the qualifying uses of the land that would allow for a government subsidy to justifiable?

Open the machinery statements to include multiple machines, or processes meeting the qualifications.

Restrict the machines from producing harmful by-products.

Create and fund an inspecting agency.

Force the taxing agency to recognize the inspecting agency and their authority.

The originating body of government where this bill is passed should hold complete jurisdiction over its implementation.

Limit the time period for the law to be in effect, 10 years or less and allow for an extension or a termination of the law.

Good Luck.
t seems as though you will be presenting this bill to a group of your peers who may or may not be as willing to give you the feedback needed to create a feasible bill. I hope that I have been helpful to you in creating a workable product. I apologize for any perceived dissension towards you in my response. I can appreciate your work in creating this bill, and I sincerely hope that you do well in your formal presentation.
Debate Round No. 1


I hope my opponent doesn't get too angry with what I'm about to say.

I forgot that I'd made changes to this bill on YIG's bill submission portion of the website. These changes included sections to reduce the % that could be paid back to property owners, and included a maximum capacity on money that could be paid back to them.

The bill that I posted was off of Google docs, and it was not updated to these changes. I can't defend this bill as it stands. I'm really sorry about this, because my opponent spent significant time and no doubt effort in making his argument, and now I'm saying I can't participate in it. I'd hope the voters would give him 7 points when they vote. I hope a win with only one round of posted arguments will satisfy my opponent, but if it doesn't, once again I'm very sorry.


I understand your inability to defend your bill as it stands. I would also like to move the goal posts of this debate to include your changes. There is only one round left of the debate, but given considerations and context of this debate, I am more than willing to provide further feedback of any changes that you either make, or have made.

This debate holds a transcendent cause that I am willing to assist in as much as possible.

Your realization of your mistake should have been made privately, directly to me in a message, or in the comment sections. If I was reasonable, I would have offered some forgiveness and allowed the goalposts to be moved. If I was unreasonable, your concession would be warranted.

In the next round, if you would like to continue this debate, present any information that you wish concerning the topic and I will provide feedback. If you do not wish to provide any further information, I will accept your concession.

For voting purposes, if my opponent wishes to present further information, please completely disregard this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I'd like to thank my opponent for his patience with my mistake, and his willingness to allow me to continue on.

I'd just like to talk a little bit about why I think the overall idea of this bill will be good for Michigan.

I am a strong advocate of alternative energies from things like wind turbines or solar panels. I believe the self-sufficiency this would bring would allow our society as a whole to advance positively. A drawback to alternative energies is how much money you'd need to drop on buying an item. Obviously, the investment will eventually bring you back to even, and then begin benefitting you, making you less dependent on big energy companies. The intention of this bill is to lessen the financial damage an investment would have on someone, and this would hopefully bring more people to alternative energy.

I believe if more people were self-sufficient, they wouldn't have to spend as much money on energy costs than they would if they had to pay a company for heating or other services. This should interest all Michiganders, because it has the potential to strengthen our economy.

Another nice thing about this bill is its light effect. In my edited version, only 1/5 of the price is refunded, and nobody may receive more than $800, which lessens the potential for a harmful effect on the State budget.


I have no problem with your effort to make the world a better place. I think a bill containing your ideas would be wonderful. However, The bill you presented has a lot of holes, and I wouldn't vote for it to become law in any state. I have no problems with wind and solar energy. I too would like to see them used more.

The drawback for me on renewable energies is not the initial costs. It's the efficiency factors. Current wind farms produce a small fraction of the amount of energy that takes up a great deal of real estate in comparison to coal and other common electricity producers. I'm not a fan of most chemical energies. They produce a lot of toxic by-products. Cold Fussion and Nuclear power will probably be more recognized options of the future, but until then, we have what we have.

Even with the proposed future savings, I still think the effeciency of renewable energy equipment is lacking. Most people will probably have to take out loans in order to meet the requirements and that is not only not saving, it paying more. A $4,000 dollar loan is about $100/month. If the savings were equal to the monthly loan, more people would definitely jump on board with your plan. They would probably even jump on board with the plan on thier own. So the effeciency of the products available becomes a huge factor.

I'm still opposed to subsidies no matter what percieved benifit they may or may not actually produce.

I was really hoping to see the edited version.

I'm still not sure if there aren't any effeciency requirments associated with the bill and if there isn't any agency associated with the implementation and monitoring of said effeciency, I still don't think it should pass.

Thanks for the Debate, I look forward to challenging you again.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
Will do!
Posted by Josh_b 2 years ago
I am ultimately glad to tie this debate. Please keep me updated on your status MYIG activities.
Posted by Josh_b 2 years ago
At first glance, I saw this debate as other debates where one side takes a position over the other and has to defend it. Upon watching the video, and understanding the purpose of the information provided, I found that this debate was not about the implied win/loss that comes with most debates. This debate is about the adequate presentation of a bill with the parameters provided. I attain to provide information for the purpose of assisting my opponent in a future endeavor. I hope that voters will take into account the level of content needed to pass a state bill as my opponent is proposing to do. If I provide adequate feedback for my opponent, vote for me on the grounds of conduct. I would also like to move the goalposts of this debate, for voting on convincing arguments. If my opponent, by the end of this debate, creates a reasonable bill to pass, voters should vote for him. Feedback is necessary for the creative process and I don't want my opponent, or anyone else to think that I am taking a solid position against him finding a solution to the problem at hand.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago

If it's very interesting to you, you could always share it with some people you think'd accept. That's what I'm doing anyhow.
Posted by The_Master_Riddler 2 years ago
This is a very interesting topic. I'll keep my eye on it.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
Forgot to mention: You can start your debate in the first round. My Bill Brief Section counts as my opening argument.
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