Don’t be fooled… Michigan Republicans love taxes, just not on their class

Republicans like to say they’re for lower taxes, but they’re not. They’re just against taxing the rich. At least that’s what we’re seeing play out in Michigan. The legislature eliminates taxes on the wealthy, knowing full well that other taxes, which disproportionately hit the poor, are eventually going to have to fill the resulting gap. One day, they kill the Michigan Business Tax, which hits business owners, and the next they’re telling us that, unless we want to be swallowed up by potholes, we’re going to have to pay an even heftier gas tax. While an additional dime per gallon my not be a lot to someone who makes $200,000 a year, it can mean a hell of a lot to someone who makes minimum wage, especially at a time when State licensing fees, as well as cost of living, are also rising. And, then there’s that fact that many of Michigan’s older cities, like Ypsilanti, either already have, or soon will be, passing local income taxes, just to keep providing the most basic of services. That likely won’t affect too many wealthy Michiganders, as they don’t tend to live in our older, neglected cities, but it will have a huge impact on families that weren’t able to flee for the predominantly white suburbs. Which brings me to this MLive clip about Governor Snyder’s recently passed tax plan that I’d like to share:

…(A) new report says low income families will be hardest hit by a state tax reform package passed last year.

While the changes don’t take effect until the 2012 tax year, the Michigan League for Human Services hopes some credits helpful to the poor can be restored by then, particularly the $600 per-child tax deduction.

The League released a report that says the tax plan will hit poor families 1,000 times harder than wealthy households. Families making less than $17,000 a year would pay one percent more in taxes in 2012, while families making more than $334,000 would see their taxes go up by only .001 percent, the report states…

So, my friends, the next time you hear a Republican ranting about how they’re “anti-tax”, I’d encourage you to do your homework. Chances are, they’re lying.

update: Our friends at Eclectablog just posted something on this same subject. In their piece, they reference a new report by the Michigan League for Human Services, which shows just how much the non-wealthy in this state are getting screwed by Snyder’s new tax policy. The report can be found here… but, here’s the big takeaway – “New tax changes cut business income tax revenues by 83 percent and increase individual taxes by 23 percent.”

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5 Comments

  1. Lynne
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I could get behind a gas tax *if* a good chunk of the revenue could be spent on public transportation. Not owning a car in the first place is a lot cheaper.

  2. Edward
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken, a good deal of what’s already collected through the Michigan gas tax, which is one of the highest in the country, goes toward the general fund. In other words, much of the gas tax isn’t really being used to repair roads, but to do other things, that are no longer funded by Michigan’s ruling class.

  3. Meta
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Things will get worse for the working people of Michigan. Given yesterday’s passage of union-busting “right to work” legislation in Indiana, people are talking about the possibility of Michigan following suit.

    http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/job_shop/how-will-the-indiana-right-to-work-law-effect-michigan%3F

  4. Eel
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Mother Jones has an article on this very thing today.

    You have heard, perhaps, that rich people in America are egregiously overtaxed. And the poor? They’re the lucky duckies! Why, 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes at all!

    (This is not true, of course. Many poor and elderly Americans pay no federal income tax, but they pay plenty of other taxes.)

    Still and all, it’s true that the federal income tax is indeed progressive. Conservatives are right about that—though it’s not as progressive as it used to be, back before top marginal rates were lowered and capital gains taxes were slashed in half. But conservatives are a little less excited to talk about other kinds of taxes. Payroll taxes aren’t progressive, for example. In fact, they’re actively regressive, with the poor and middle classes paying higher rates than the rich.

    And then there are state taxes. Those include state income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and fees of various kinds. How progressive are state taxes?

    Answer: They aren’t. The Corporation for Enterprise Development recently released a scorecard for all 50 states, and it has boatloads of useful information. That includes overall tax rates, where CFED’s number crunchers conclude that in the median state (Mississippi, as it turns out) the poorest 20 percent pay twice the tax rate of the top 1 percent. In the worst states, the poorest 20 percent pay five to six times the rate of the richest 1 percent. Lucky duckies indeed. There’s not one single state with a tax system that’s progressive.

    You’ll find the chart here.

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/02/soaking-poor-state-state

  5. Anonymous Mike
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    And there Synder sits, in his gated community, as his friends snap photos of the poor people holding candles outside, and complain about how they’re making it harder for them to get to Whole Foods.

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