House Dems: Snyder's Budget Ditches 'Shared Sacrifice' to Favor Corporations

Friday, February 18, 2011

LANSING - House Democrats today blasted Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to finance enormous tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals at the expense of Michigan’s children, seniors and working families.

“While the Governor has talked repeatedly about shared sacrifice, his budget proposal doesn’t back that up,” said House Democratic Leader Richard E. Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Township). “Instead it takes Michigan backward by giving massive tax breaks to corporations and shifting the burden to our seniors, our children and working families. True leadership demands making sure that everyone sacrifices as we work together to turn our state around.”

The Governor’s budget proposal includes over $1 billion in tax increases on those who can least afford it. He wants to tax private and public pensions and cut the Homestead Property Tax Credit. His plan to eliminate the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) will increase taxes on hundreds of thousands of families who rely on the credit to make ends meet and continue working at low-wage jobs instead of relying on welfare. Eliminating the EITC will also take nearly $284 million a year out of the Michigan economy, money that working families spend on essentials at local businesses.

“While we clearly need to support small businesses so they can create jobs, we simply cannot give all the tax breaks to corporations and demand that seniors and working families cover those costs,” said State Representative Jon M. Switalski (D-Warren). “Many of the seniors in my district are on fixed incomes and cannot afford to pay taxes on their meager pensions. The working families that rely on the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit are living paycheck to paycheck. Our seniors and working families - not wealthy corporations - are the ones who deserve support during these tough times.”

Snyder also aims to slash K-12 funding by an additional 4 percent, or $300 per student, and cut university funding by 15 percent.

“Our local schools are already struggling to provide the quality education that every child deserves and needs to compete for good-paying jobs,” said State Representative Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek). “The Governor has said he is committed to ‘P-20’ education - and yet his cuts will force schools to lay off teachers, increase class sizes, and deprive our kids of the technology and resources they need to succeed. In many cases, these cuts will bankrupt our schools - whole districts will have to close. Cuts to universities will increase tuition and put a college education out of reach for even more middle-class families, limiting our students’ ability to thrive in the workplace and our state’s ability to attract top job providers. Education is the last thing we should be cutting as we work to turn Michigan’s economy around.”