Potential ballot proposal to raise biz taxes could help fund MI’s roads

Posted at 12:50 PM, Jul 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-23 12:50:56-04

LANSING, Mich. — The group “Citizens for Fair Taxes” Thursday afternoon announced a ballot proposal campaign aimed at raising the state’s business taxes to fund roads.

It’s a proposal that would raise the state’s corporate income tax from 6 to 11 percent–raising nearly $900 million in revenue–to put toward funding repairs for Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges, according to the campaign’s website.

The group claims corporations have received more than $2 billion in “unfair and unjustifiable tax giveaways,” adding the hike in the business tax would recoup about half of that revenue lost.

The Citizens for Fair Taxes website also claims small businesses would not be impacted by the tax hikes.

Courtesy “Citizens for Fair Taxes” campaign.

“They promised us that giving away billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations and CEOs would lead to more better work for Michiganders, but the only thing they did was make life harder on Michigan’s middle class and working people,” Tom Lutz, an organizer with the group, said in a Thursday press release.

Organizers will have to collect more than 250,000 signatures in order for the proposal to appear on the 2016 statewide ballot. If successful, this proposal could potentially join several other recently proposed ballot drives, including petitions calling for mandates on paid sick time and legalization of marijuana.

After lawmakers in Lansing failed to vote on a proposed gas tax hike earlier this month, House Democrats proposed their own plan to fund roads, which also included a proposal to raise the state’s corporate income tax rate. The plan from Democrats called for a tax hike from 6 to 9 percent.

The plan drew quick criticism from Republicans, many who said a corporate tax hike could prove to be detrimental to the state’s economy and employment.