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Income Tax Rollback Defeated in the House; Thank Your Reps

Jennifer Smith

By Jennifer Smith, MASB Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, March 1, 2017

Last week, the House tried to pass House Bill 4001, which would have rolled back the income tax rate. The version that was brought up for a vote would have rolled back the rate to 3.9% over the next four years and added a freeze in the rate if the budget stabilization fund was less than $1 billion. Obviously this was better than total elimination, but our concerns with creating a hole in the budget that totaled more than $1 billion in four years remained.

Despite these changes, support still did not exist for the plan and it failed by a vote of 52-55 in the early hours of the morning on Thursday. Intense pressure was put on the House members by outside organizations and House leadership to pass the bill. The groups opposed to lowering the rate also continued to talk to Representatives about the harm cutting $1.1 billion in revenue would do, particularly with no replacement plan, to education, public safety and our roads.

After the vote, the House moved to reconsider, which simply leaves the bill available for another vote in the future. At this point, we are not sure if that will happen.

Thank you to all who made calls and sent emails to your Representatives in opposition to this bill. We appreciate your advocacy! But we have one more ask—this was a very tough vote for the 12 Republicans who voted no and many of the Democrats. If you live in one of their districts, we urge you to contact them and thank them for protecting our state budget and investing in Michigan.

This can be done in a variety of ways—a simple call or email to his/her office, a letter to the editor in your local paper, or attending a coffee hour or local meeting. However you do it, please take a moment and thank your Representative if they helped defeat this dangerous plan.

Here is the list of the 12 Republicans who voted no:

Rep. Chris Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids Township)

Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland)

Rep. Kathy Crawford (R-Novi)

Rep. Daniela Garcia (R-Holland)

Rep. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City)

Rep. Jim Lilly (R-Park Township)

Rep. Dave Maturen (R-Vicksburg)

Rep. Mike McCready (R-Bloomfield Hills)

Rep. Dave Pagel (R-Berrien Springs)

Rep. Brett Roberts (R-Charlotte)

Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Temperance)

Rep. Scott VanSingel (R-Grant)

A complete vote tally is available on our website.

While the bill was defeated, the issue certainly isn't dead. There is a proposal in the Senate as well, although the sponsor of that bill has said he would like to look at ways to replace the revenue lost. With the income tax making up more than 70% of the General Fund revenue and approximately 25% of the School Aid Fund, replacing any revenue loss is vital to protecting services. We fully expect more discussion on this issue.

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