Education Leaders Urge Opposition to Switch Tax Break

Rushed through the Senate, Switch tax break would harm local schools

CONTACT: Olivia Adams, Byrum & Fisk, 517.333.1606, [email protected]

LANSING – A group of school leaders from West Michigan and across the state today urged lawmakers to oppose a massive tax break for data center Switch because it would have devastating consequences for local school districts across West Michigan.

“We urge lawmakers to oppose Senate Bill 455 because it will negatively impact funding for our school districts that goes to support operations and classroom learning environments,” said Ron Caniff, Kent ISD Superintendent. "Passage of this legislation will make it more difficult for our districts to meet the individual needs of students."

“Tax breaks and giveaways are hurting school districts across the state and we implore lawmakers to oppose Senate Bill 455,” said Peter Spadafore, Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators' Associate Executive Director for Advocacy and Communications. “Michigan’s school districts are forced to do more with less every day, a problem that is exacerbated by the constant drumbeat of tax breaks that erode school funding and harm students, teachers, families and communities.”

“We can’t keep cutting resources to our schools and expect them to thrive,” said Jennifer Smith, Michigan Association of School Boards' Director of Government Relations. “This is yet another cut on top of the hundreds of millions that have been done since we first exempted Switch from sales and use taxes in 2015. Michigan’s tax policy decisions should not be made to the detriment of our students.”

Senate Bill 455 was passed by the Michigan Senate on Sept. 24 and referred to the Commerce and Tourism Committee in the Michigan House of Representatives.