State Income Tax Bill Defeated in Late Night Session

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I want to thank the hundreds of residents who have taken the time to contact my office regarding HB 4001, which would have blown a massive hole in our state budget by hastily reducing or eliminating the income tax.

I'm very glad that level heads prevailed at 1:30 a.m. this morning when HB 4001 was defeated as 12 Republicans joined all but one Democrat in opposition to the bill.

We were in session for 12 consecutive hours yesterday and early this morning as House Republicans tried to get enough of their members to support their own plan.

At no point did the bill's sponsor explain what services he would cut from our state budget. Are we going to cut funding for our roads, our children's education, Medicaid? Republicans pushing this bill simply refused to answer this billion dollar question.

At a time when our roads are falling apart, our children and grandchildren’s schools don’t have the resources they need, and our state continues to disinvest in our communities, this plan was completely irresponsible.

Now that last night is behind us, I hope we're able to have a thoughtful conversation about our tax system, which asks twice as much of low- and middle-income families as those in top 1 percent, and how we can fix our roads and invest in our communities and schools.

There is no reason families living in poverty and our middle class should contribute nearly twice as much of their income as the wealthiest in our state. We should be seeking to provide tax relief to families with the highest tax burden, while asking the wealthiest in our state to contribute the same share of their income as everyone else. 

By creating a more equitable tax system for all, we can actually cut taxes for 95 percent of Michigan families and raise the revenue needed to implement the road plan that Gov. Snyder signed into law in 2015.