Michigan counties report varied gun permit costs

LANSING (AP) - The reported cost of concealed carry gun permits to Michigan taxpayers varies widely in each county, with a high of $214 per permit and a low near $3.

An analysis of county data shows estimated taxpayer costs are inconsistent across the state even though each Michigan gun carrier pays a flat $105 fee for a concealed permit, MLive.com reported. Muskegon County taxpayers pay nearly $26 to process each permit, while it costs $103 in neighboring Newaygo County, according to officials.

Michigan law requires counties to detail the cost of issuing the permits per person.

There is little consistency based on the size of a county, and critics think the drastic differences make no sense.

Linda Talsma, Marquette County's clerk, isn't sure why the costs submitted by her office are listed as the lowest. She thinks the reported $3.24 cost isn't realistic.

"Oh, you got me on that," she said. "I would love to say it is three bucks, but that is not our cost. I wish I could say that."

Emmett County Clerk Gail Martin said her county's $214 tax is precise because it includes costs for necessities such as mailings, staff time, laminating photos and arranging gun board agendas.

"I charge $105, that is what the state allows. But my costs are greater than $105. And out of that, basically 60 percent can go back to the state," she said.

The state mandated charge of $105 for concealed pistol applications is split three ways, $26 for counties, $15 for sheriff's offices and $64 for the Michigan State Police.

"Basically, it's all over the place," said Ryan Mitchell, a top aide to state Sen. Mike Green of Mayville. "We believe this (fee) is being subsidized for other departments in the state police."

Published: Thu, Sep 11, 2014