(League of Women Voters, http://www.lwvmi.org/documents/LWVMIProCon11-12.pdf)
Note: This information is provided by the League of Women Voters. Find out more about this nonpartisan organization at www.lwvmi.org.
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO LIMIT THE ENACTMENT OF NEW TAXES BY STATE GOVERNMENT
This proposal would: Require a 2/3 majority vote of the State House and the State Senate, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the State of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation. This section shall in no way be construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution.
Should this proposal be approved? YES ___ NO __
The Michigan Alliance for Prosperity (MAP) proposed this constitutional amendment to make it harder to raise taxes in Michigan by requiring two – thirds of the Legislature or the voters of Michigan to approve them . Eighteen other states have similar requirements. Sponsors believe the amendment will enhance consensus between political parties, control spending and lower taxes. Currently in Michigan the sales tax cannot be increased without a vote of citizens and educational property taxes (6 mills) require a three – fourths majority vote of the Legislature to raise them. However, property taxes, income taxes, and use taxes can be increased by a majority vote of the Legislature. MAP wants to make tax increases the last resort for politicians by demanding broad – based support. If there are urgent circumstances that truly require increasing taxes on Michigan families and businesses, the two – thirds requirement means politicians have to make a broadly compelling case to the public. Proposal supporters believe tax increases can have far – reaching and long term impact on the state’s taxpayers and economy. Therefore, a more stringent legislative requirement than a simple majority vote should be needed to add a new tax, expand the tax base or increase the tax rate . For more information go to http://miprosperity.com/.
Defend Michigan Democracy (DMD) opposes the proposal to amend Michigan’s Constitution to require a supermajority vote of the Legislature or a vote of Michigan citizens to raise taxes. DMD argues this proposal would allow a minority of Legislators to thwart the majority of elected officials and will make it more difficult to fund public services such as roads, schools and state police. Opponents note that the proposal will make it more difficult to eliminate tax expenditures (loopholes) in order to make the tax system more equitable. Additionally, opponents note the proposal will lock the state into a tax system that may not meet the future needs of Michigan. For example, had this requirement been in effect in 2010 it would have prevented replacing the Michigan Business Tax with the Corporate Income Tax. A coalition of Michigan Republicans, Democrats, businesses, workers, health care providers, educators, universities, human service providers, mayors, police officers and firefighters argue that lobbyists and billionaires controlling a minority of 13 State Senators could create gridlock. States with supermajority requirement s are the poorest (Mississippi), have highest unemployment (Nevada) and exhibit dysfunctional government (California). Majority rule has been the foundation of our democracy. For more information go to http://defendmidemocracy.com.
For Ferndale 115 News coverage of election-related stories, including candidate profiles and League of Women Voters break-downs of the ballot proposals, please visit https://oaklandcounty115.com/category/voter_info/.