Gov. Snyder Says No On Prop 5

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

It's political crunch time for the November election, and Governor Snyder is helping people make up their minds by speaking out against Proposal 5.

"It was terribly worded and terribly thought out," said Governor Snyder. "What it would do, is mess up any kind of tax reform or potentially even tax decreases that involve improving our overall tax code."

Governor Snyder says that could make even lowering taxes very difficult in certain situations. Proposal 5 sounds fine on its face, but that mandate would be written into the state constitution. He uses the "Michigan Business Tax" as an example, which was only repealed when combined with the creation of a new corporate income tax.

Not everyone agrees with the governor. While Charlie Owens and the governor have worked together on many other issues, they have opposing views on prop 5.

"If proposal 5 had been in place before the Michigan Business Tax became law, we might not need those tax changes because that bad tax probably wouldn't have been able to be passed because of the two-thirds super majority requirement," said Charlie Owens, the Michigan Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, or NFIB. "We find that when there's a tight budget, or when spending exceeds revenues, the natural tendency for most government is to look to taxes first and not to spending cuts, or other ways to balance the budget."

"It's not on any tax increase. It's about any increase in rate or base, and that's why it's such bad public policy," said Governor Snyder. "It allows minorities, special interests, to really say, could have control over what our tax policy is in terms of small groups of people with a fairly limited number of votes controlling our tax code instead of a majority speaking."

Governor Snyder says that anything above 50 percent is a majority. He says a two-thirds majority would mean that if the House unanimously passed a tax reform bill, 13 Senate votes could control tax policy in Michigan by stopping any kind of reform.

Owens counter argues, saying that if you can't get 13 votes in the Senate, it's probably not a good tax plan. He says under current law of 51 percent being a majority, the minority is only 19 Senators.

"What we are trying to do is allow tax payers more say in how tax policy is formulated. We don't think it's unreasonable to have a higher requirement to impose taxes on working families and businesses in the state," said Owens.

Owens and others have nothing against the Governor. In fact they are grateful for his policies. What they fear is what will happen when leadership changes, and that's why they want Proposal 5 passed.

"We are very grateful for what the Governor has done. I think he has done a lot for our state. I think he has done a lot for our business climate. Our concern though is that administration's change, elections come and go."

With all the different proposals on the ballot, one, six, four, five, how is one to keep them all straight in your head? The governor and others have an answer.

"So it's 'Yes on One. No on the rest' is my simple mantra in terms of when I go into the voting booth," said Governor Snyder.

"Ours is yes on one and five, and no on two, three and four, and we have no position on six." said Owens. "Ours isn't as simple."

Whatever your view, the election is coming and it's time to think about how you will vote.


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