(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 19, 2017)
Birmingham, MI – As residents pulled through the parking lot of the Birmingham Post Office to drop off their taxes by the April 18 deadline, they were greeted by four people with anti-tax signs.
In five communities across the state, the Michigan Conservative Coalition held rallies to call out the 12 Republican legislators who voted against a reduction in state property taxes.
The protestors handed out fliers that had pictures of the “dirty dozen” who crossed party lines to vote no to reducing the state’s income tax from 4.25% to 3.9%. The cut would have resulted in a billion dollar loss in funding for governmental services such as education, police and fire, roads, etc.
The 12 were Chris Afendolus of Grand Rapids Township, Julie Calley of Portland, Kathy Crawford of Novi, Daniela Garcia of Holland, Larry Inman of Acme Township, Jim Lilly of Park Township, David Mature of Brady Township, Michael McCready of Bloomfield Hills, Dave Pagel of Portland, Brett Roberts of Eaton Township, Jason Sheppard of Temperance and Scott Vansingel of Grant.
Democrat Scott Dianda, of Calumet was the only Democrat to cross party lines and vote in favor of the bill, which failed by three votes in mid February.
Governor Rick Snyder opposed the tax cut, stating that he had “a billion dollars worth of concerns,” in reference to the lost revenue that would have occurred.
Of the four sign-holders in Birmingham, one was Cara McAlister of Bloomfield Township. “We elect Republicans to be fiscally conservative,” McAlister said. “Let’s cut taxes or they might never cut spending.”
Paul Taros, who hosts “Tough Talk with Taros,” a political talk show on Bloomfield Township Cable, said legislators need to “prioritize and cut waste.” When asked where the state should begin cutting services, he said “everywhere.”
Dennis Marburger said that “the Dirty Dozen, these so-called Republicans, stabbed us in the back, and we are going to remember when they are up for re-election.”
He said that those interested in having a democracy that represents their values can get involved at a local level. “Run for local office, become a precinct delegate, get involved in campaigns and hold your representatives accountable,” he said.
As they stood in the grassy area between Bowers Street and the Post Office, the four head many things shouted from car windows – some in support and some in opposition. One driver called “I want to see Trump’s tax returns!” To which Marburger responded “I don’t! Taxation is theft!”
“Dirty Dozen” protests were held in Birmingham, Mt. Clemens, Novi, Holland, Traverse City and Hudsonville.
Learn more about Michigan Conservative Coalition at https://www.michiganconservativecoalition.com/.