LANSING — State Reps. Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods), Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak) and Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) introduced legislation to level the playing field for everyday Michiganders by updating the current lopsided state tax system. House Bills 4481, 4482 and House Joint Resolution G would institute a graduated state income tax, cutting or holding steady taxes for 92 percent of Michigan families while increasing state revenue by over $2.5 billion.
“We should not be asking our working families to pay a larger percentage of their income into a broken system than we do millionaires and billionaires,” said Rep. Wittenberg. “We can’t fund our local governments or pay for the roads and schools our families deserve if those who make less are asked to shoulder more of the weight. When our state’s tax rules result in massive funding gaps for the things that matter most to the people of our state, it is time to rewrite the rules.”
“For the last eight years the state has been balancing its budget on the backs of those who can least afford it,” said Rep. Warren. “Nurses, teachers, police officers and carpenters should not be paying more of their income in state taxes than those who make over $1 million per year. Our legislation will ensure that moderate- and low-income families are not paying an unfair share as we work together to fix our roads, protect our drinking water, and improve our schools.”
Michigan is currently one of only eight states with a flat state income tax, with the vast majority of states operating under some form of a graduated tax system. The first year the package would take effect it would generate $2.5 billion in state revenue, providing funding to tackle some of the state’s most pressing challenges including repairing Michigan’s broken roads, adequately funding public schools, and cleaning up the state’s water. The Democrats’ plan would also correct the 2011 tax shift, which shifted a larger portion of state taxes onto individual taxpayers to fund the Snyder administration’s massive corporate tax breaks.
“Every hardworking Michigander ought to be able to provide for their families, and to live without worrying about how they’ll afford to pay their bills and keep food on the table,” said Rep. Ellison. “But the reality is that thousands across the state face those dilemmas every day, yet instead of providing them the resources they need to thrive, we’re expecting them to pay a higher share in taxes than millionaire families in our state. It’s time that everyone, regardless of how much they make or who their special interest friends are, pays their fair share, and our package will make that happen.”