Politics & Government
4:50 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Stateside: What a 2/3 majority would mean for Michigan

Stateside continued exploring the proposals that Michigan voters will see on next week’s ballot.

Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham spoke with Cyndy about Proposal 5 and what it means for the state.

Where did the proposal originate?

Michigan Alliance for Prosperity, it’s a few Tea Party members, but the financial backing comes from the Moroun family. They have spent a lot of money into Proposal 5. There is one long-time Michigan politician who has been in favor of this 2/3 majority, Mike Bouchard, the Sheriff of Oakland County. So this is not just a Tea Party movement.  This lets 13 Senators control everything that has to do with tax increases,” said Graham.

What have other states with a similar majority experienced?

“There are other states that have a 2/3 majority. But they find it really does limit what government can do and that is key because economies change and evolve. We are not the state we were 30 years ago,” said Graham.

Michigan  has not seen many Prop 5 ads. What is the reason behind this?

“When you look for supporters of Prop 5, there is the National Federation of Independent Business, these Tea Party groups and a lot of out-of-state folks. When you look for those who oppose it, it is nearly everybody else. If you’re a business person you have to worry about the tax burden being shifted from the state level to the local level,” said Graham.

Would Prop 5 impact Michigan’s credit rating?

“The debt we have for bonds could increase the interest rate, which means our tax dollars will go to pay higher interest rates instead of projects we need right now,” said Graham.

Are there any states where having this legislative major is working?

“If you don’t like the idea of your taxes ever being increased again at the state level, you could say it works. But when you need the flexibility to change your tax structure as your economy changes, there can be trouble,” said Graham.

What do the specific votes mean in reference to this proposal?

“A ‘yes’ vote means you are in favor of 2/3 majority or a vote of the people for any tax increase at the state level. A ‘no’ vote means you want the government to have the flexibility to continue to make tax restructuring to benefit the economy,” said Graham.  

-Cameron Stewart

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