Earlier this month, the Michigan legislature succeeded in passing a balanced budget with no new taxes. But like a child who failed to get her way, Gov. Jennifer Granholm is not giving up on her push to raise the tax burden in Michigan.
The Granholm strategy: threaten cuts to education funding to scare parents, teachers, and lawmakers into supporting tax hikes. Last month, Granholm and the teachers’ union killed a proposal to modestly cut spending by less than 3%. Then, after a budget with smaller cuts was passed, Granholm vetoed $51.5 million in excess funding to wealthy school districts (a good idea), but called for tax hikes to fill the hole she created. Now, Granholm has announced massive education spending cuts will be necessary unless taxes are raised, citing a report by her own Treasury Department that contradicts the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency.
Simply put: Granholm is playing the politics of fear to strong-arm legislators into passing a tax increase. To date, tax hikes have been proposed on personal income, bottled water, sporting events, cigarettes, and more. However, the tax-hike-du-jour is a 3% tax on doctors – a proposal that will raise the cost of health care and drive physicians and more businesses out of Michigan.
Nevermind that Michigan’s punitive tax code has contributed to the loss of 750,000 private sector jobs over the past decade. Nevermind that nearly 420,000 individuals and small businesses have fled the state during the past ten years – taking $9.5 billion in taxable income out of Michigan’s economy. Nevermind that the unemployment rate is at an historic high of 15.3% and climbing. And certainly nevermind that Michigan’s excessive tax burden on families and businesses is much of the cause for state’s economic troubles.
CLICK HERE to write your Michigan lawmaker and tell them taxes in Michigan are high enough. Also, click here for ATR’s recent letter to the Michigan Senate urging them to continue opposition to tax increases.