Vote No On Proposal 1?

"It is my estimation that it was not necessary to place anything on the ballot to allow the reduction of that tax." Rose Bogaert WCTA

no-on-oneIt’s seemed all too easy for this to almost slip right by, unquestioned as we fight our local political battles..

Folks have been trying to figure out the impact of proposal one.  The complicated gobbledygook language contained in multiple bills as a part of PA 80 has not helped, and the question remains: “Why is it necessary to have the voters act to ‘reduce’ taxes?” Before we as a state vote on ANYTHING, it ought to be at least reasonably explained.

Indeed, I don’t know anyone who likes the personal property tax, but will the ‘devil we know’ be replaced by one even more destructive?  Rose Bogaert, of the Wayne County Taxpayers Association lays it out:

Wayne County Taxpayers Association Position Paper

Proposal 1
APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF AMENDATORY ACT TO REDUCE STATE USE TAX AND REPLACE WITH A LOCAL COMMUNITY STABILIZATION SHARE TO MODERNIZE THE TAX SYSTEM TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES GROW AND CREATE JOBS
The amendatory act adopted by the Legislature would:

  1. Reduce the state use tax and replace with a local community stabilization share of the tax for the purpose of modernizing the tax system to help small businesses grow and create jobs in Michigan.
  2. Require Local Community Stabilization Authority to provide revenue to local governments dedicated for local purposes, including police safety, fire protection, and ambulance emergency services.
  3. Increase portion of state use tax dedicated for aid to local school districts.
  4. Prohibit Authority from increasing taxes.
  5. Prohibit total use tax rate from exceeding existing constitutional 6% limitation. Should this law be approved?

I want to state that the Personal Property Tax is a horrible tax and a burden to business and employment. If I were to say to the average taxpayer that their stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer and any other appliance or furniture were all subject to personal property tax for 10 years after purchase with a reduction each year for depreciation, we would have a revolt.

Anyone wishing to understand how the tax works and its effects can go to Personal Property Tax Reform in Michigan The Fiscal and Economic Impact of SB 1065-SB 1072, Anderson Economic Group at : http://marquette.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/04/AEG_MIPPT_ReformReport.pdf or the Citizen Research Council at https://crcmich.org/TaxOutline/index.html

This is not just an elimination of the Personal Property Tax for some small businesses. It is about much more. It is my estimation that it was not necessary to place anything on the ballot to allow the reduction of that tax. Everything they needed is presently included in the State Constitution as defined in the Headlee Amendment.

Article IX Michigan Constitution
§ 25 Voter approval of increased local taxes; prohibitions; emergency conditions; repayment of bonded indebtedness guaranteed; implementation of section.

Sec. 25. Property taxes and other local taxes and state taxation and spending may not be increased above the limitations specified herein without direct voter approval. The state is prohibited from requiring any new or expanded activities by local governments without full state financing, from reducing the proportion of state spending in the form of aid to local governments, or from shifting the tax burden to local government. A provision for emergency conditions is established and the repayment of voter approved bonded indebtedness is guaranteed.

Implementation of this section is specified in Sections 26 through 34, inclusive, of this Article.

§ 26 Limitation on taxes; revenue limit; refunding or transferring excess revenues; exceptions to revenue limitation; adjustment of state revenue and spending limits.

Sec. 26. There is hereby established a limit on the total amount of taxes which may be imposed by the legislature in any fiscal year on the taxpayers of this state. This limit shall not be changed without approval of the majority of the qualified electors voting thereon, as provided for in Article 12 of the Constitution……. If responsibility for funding a program or programs is transferred from one level of government to another, as a consequence of constitutional amendment, the state revenue and spending limits may be adjusted to accommodate such change, provided that the total revenue authorized for collection by both state and local governments does not exceed that amount which would have been authorized without such change.

§ 29 State financing of activities or services required of local government by state law.

Sec. 29. The state is hereby prohibited from reducing the state financed proportion of the necessary costs of any existing activity or service required of units of Local Government by state law. A new activity or service or an increase in the level of any activity or service beyond that required by existing law shall not be required by the legislature or any state agency of units of Local Government, unless a state appropriation is made and disbursed of Local Government for any necessary increased costs. The provision of this section shall not apply to costs incurred pursuant to Article VI, Section 18 to pay the unit.

There are 10 Senate Bills connected to this proposal. Nowhere in the ballot language is a Personal Property Tax mentioned specifically. The bills range from SB821 through SB830. For brevity and simplification I will address SB822 which must be passed for most of the others to take effect.

We start our problem with the establishment of yet another Authority which would be granted enormous power. Since this new Authority would not be elected by the voters, there would be no true accountability but they would have the responsibility of handling a huge amount of our money.

“BEGINNING ON OCTOBER 1, 2015, THE SPECIFIC TAX LEVIED UNDER SUBSECTION (1) INCLUDES BOTH A STATE SHARE TAX LEVIED BY THIS STATE AND A LOCAL COMMUNITY STABILIZATION SHARE TAX AUTHORIZED BY THE AMENDATORY ACT THAT ADDED SECTION 2C AND LEVIED BY THE AUTHORITY, WHICH REPLACES THE REDUCED STATE SHARE AT THE FOLLOWING RATES IN EACH OF THE FOLLOWING STATE FISCAL YEARS”

Legislation then goes on to define the state’s portion of

“THE LOCAL COMMUNITY STABILIZATION SHARE TAX RATE TO BE LEVIED BY THE AUTHORITY IS THAT RATE CALCULATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY ON BEHALF OF THE AUTHORITY… THE STATE SHARE TAX RATE IS THAT RATE DETERMINED BY SUBTRACTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY STABILIZATION SHARE TAX RATE FROM 6%.”

The state then declares the revenue portion from 2015-2016 through 2029 without knowing the accuracy of the amount listed. They will also be committing future legislatures to a dollar amount.

This Authority would be granted an enormous responsibility. That cannot be good for taxpayers. The line in the proposal that limits the used/sales tax to 6% does not address the expansion of the sales tax to, for example, internet purchases or fines or penalties for failure to comply. It does not address other things that they may choose to include as taxable by the sales tax which they seem to think they have the authority to adjust.

Whatever your feelings on taxes, this proposal does not give the taxpayer more security. The language does not reflect the full nature of the outcome if it passes. If you have concerns, I will be glad to forward copies of the bills. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. wctaxpayers@comcast.net . 313-278-8383.

The Wayne County Taxpayer Association suggests vote NO on Proposal 1

You Betcha! (26)Nuh Uh.(2)

  22 comments for “Vote No On Proposal 1?

  1. Mark
    June 27, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I've received two mailings in favor of this proposal which both cite Mao-al-obama's a.a.r.p as being in favor of a yes vote.

    I will be voting no.

    You Betcha! (12)Nuh Uh.(2)
  2. Kevin Rex Heine
    June 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    The reason that the bill package has to go on a statewide ballot is because it ultimately restructures the sales tax, which, per Article IX of Michigan's Constitution, cannot be done without ratification by the statewide electorate. I don't have a particularly strong opinion either way on this one (though I'm leaning "yes"), but I'm thinking that, if this passes, and we ultimately wind up with an MBT-style stinker on our hands, then we've just created a prime opportunity for the Michigan Fair Tax Proposal.

    You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(2)
    • Corinthian Scales
      June 30, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Prime opportunity? Laughable. The tax lawyer lobby will co@%block your wet dream as they have for years. For that matter, a *nerd* CPA with a JD just shoved a 5% retirement asset confiscation through, and imposed a State Income Tax hike on everyone by his complicit Gang Of Polyp legislature majority, and not a goddam thing has happened other than Boobus Michiganderus going, "bahahahahaha".

      You Betcha! (5)Nuh Uh.(3)
  3. KG One
    June 28, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Truth be told, I would be a little curious as to how they can raise taxes given bullet points 4 & 5:

    4.) Prohibit Authority from increasing taxes.

    5.)Prohibit total use tax rate from exceeding existing constitutional 6% limitation.

    I've already stated my past opposition to any new "authorities", a fact that hasn't changed today.

    But I'm not seeing any wiggle room here for them to pull any shenanigans on this one.

    Any "expansion" in the scope of what is taxed is covered under those two provisions, so any attempt to do otherwise will just blow up in Lansing's face and put them back at square one again.

    If there is something that I am missing, I would definitely like to know.

    You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(3)
  4. June 28, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    THE AUTHORITY IS THAT RATE CALCULATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY ON BEHALF OF THE AUTHORITY… So It would not be the authority making the decision what would be taxed.

    The base can by expanded by a vote of the people. Which some lawyers might just interpret we might be doing. " Prohibit total use tax rate from exceeding existing constitutional 6% limitation." This only limits the percentage not what is being taxed.

    You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(1)
    • Jason
      June 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      "Only limits the percentage. "

      EXACTLY. If it is allowed to expand into areas not already subject to use tax, then it is a NEW TAX.

      You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(1)
  5. Corinthian Scales
    June 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I'm so surprised that living the comped lifestyle parasite two-faced Dick is for raising taxes.

    You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(4)
  6. Ray Franz
    July 3, 2014 at 11:22 am

    PPT – FYI
    • The Wayne County Taxpayers Association’s (the “WCTA”) position paper mischaracterizes the PPT proposal by suggesting that the Local Community Stabilization Authority is a new authority. It is not. The current METRO Authority, created under Governor Engler, is renamed and will be responsible for redistributing a portion of use tax revenues necessary to reimburse locals for lost PPT revenues.

    • The PPT proposal has NO impact on state sales tax revenues or collections. It only redirects a portion of the use tax revenue that otherwise would go to the general fund. It similarly does not impact the 2% of use tax that goes to the School Aid Fund.

    • The PPT proposal does not expand the sales or use tax or change the types of the things that are taxable.

    • The PPT proposal requires voter approval at the ballot because, under our constitution, the Authority is technically a local unit of government that will levy a Local Community Stabilization Tax (the portion of the existing use tax that will be used to reimburse local units).
    o Because this portion of the use tax was not levied and redirected prior to the 1978 Headlee amendment, it requires voter approval. This is known as a Headlee authorization.

    • The proposal allows local units of government to take title to the use tax revenues, making the reimbursement distributions automatic, removing them from the annual appropriations process.

    • The use tax is constitutionally capped at 6%. This proposal does not, and cannot increase taxes.

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(5)
  7. kris kringle
    July 12, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    my only concern... will businesses pay less? thats how it looks. it also appears at face value that our taxes will not go up. so what services will be cut. Im voting no

    You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(0)
  8. Steven Beck
    August 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    My concern is that the language chosen does not satisfy my skepticism regarding its ability to implement the stated goal.
    There has to be a better way to do this. This was a poor attempt at resolving problems whose solutions should be more straightforward.

    "The PPT proposal does not expand the sales or use tax or change the types of the things that are taxable."
    Nor does it prohibit changing the types of things that are taxable. Hence the problem.

    "Prohibit total use tax rate from exceeding existing constitutional 6% limitation."
    Being that it is a constitutional limit, it would require a constitutional amendment to exceed it, so this statement is unnecessary.
    The fact that it is there raises suspicions.

    If I had to vote right this second, the vote would be no. More research to be done, but the wording to me seems disconnected from the advertised goal, which in and of itself causes me concerns. I smell a rat. I don't trust this.

    You Betcha! (5)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Steven Beck
      August 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      I'm obviously no JD, but all the advertising is about eliminating the Personal Property Tax, which, uh . . . is not mentioned in the proposal.
      The USE TAX is mentioned and there is some shifting of resources, but my layman's eyes are not seeing a connection between this proposal and the Personal Property Tax.
      There is probably something I am missing though, so if someone feels generous with the pearls of their wisdom, please share.

      You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Jason
      August 3, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Nape hairs are up for a lot of folks.

      You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(0)
  9. Mary MacMaster
    August 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Proposal 1 sets up a new State bureaucratic AUTHORITY. This Authority of nameless, faceless and unaccountable bureaucrats will be deciding what and how much will be doled out to the various and sundry communities.
    The legislators could decide to change the rules of the game at any time that they so wish .... and strings can be applied to each community throughout the state on whether or not they will receive any funding or have them increased or diminished.
    Our Lansing legislators could have voted to rescind the business property tax without having it go to a vote of the people... and, without creating this dubious State bureaucratic Authority.
    Proposal #1 - VOTE NO!!! -----
    CITIZENS RESEARCH COUNCIL OF MICHIGAN -----
    Statewide Ballot issues : Proposal 2014-1
    ["This arrangement does not, however, prevent a future legislature from making changes directly to the authorizing statutes...." ]
    http://www.crcmich.org/PUBLICAT/2010s/2014/memo1128.pdf

    You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(0)
  10. Paul Johnson
    March 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Where can I get a VOTE NO on Prop 1 yard sign?

    You Betcha! (5)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Jason
      March 13, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Good question.. Maybe I should 'sell them'

      You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(0)
  11. Ano Nomous
    March 28, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    We need "VOTE NO" bumper stickers.... anyone?

    btw, Skippy has explained to us that his budget fell short because alot more businesses took the tax credit than was expected... so skippy's people failed to predict this.... how many businesses do you think might take advantage of the business tax credit we're offering to businesses?
    sounds like BS to me. ask skippy; "WHERE DID THE MONEY GO THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO FIX THE ROADS"

    WHERE'S THE JOBS SKIPPY ?

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
  12. Trina K.
    March 30, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    where can I get a "Vote No on Prop. 1" yard sign to put in front of my house??? Where is all the money that they have collected so over the past years.. far for the roads from taxes?? and the schools? the Gov. just shifted millions of dollars from the school fund over to the general fund.... the money that was increased from the sales tax from 4% to 6% back in the 90"s.... well granholm put it in the GENERAL FUND..... so watch.... they wont fix any of the roads until they pass this prop. 1 in may... if it doesn't pass, then they will let the road just fall apart and try to pass some other prop.... I want my "VOTE NO ON PROP 1" yard sign.... where are they?? AND Let the legislator pay for his vote in May out of their pockets... and not on the backs of the taxpayers......Pathetic ....

    You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Corinthian Scales
      March 30, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Too difficult to make one?

      You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Ano Nomous
      March 31, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      The sales tax was raised from 4% up to 6% during Gov. John Engler (R) 's administration.......................................not Gov. Jennifer Granholm

      jus sayin, VOTE NO ! this prop is a load of you know what, they're scamming the voters by calling this a road repair prop. Snyder is spending millions on TV and radio commercials trying to guilt voters telling us the safety of school children is depending on this proposal. He should've spent that money fixing potholes. If the roads are so dangerous than his administration is to blame for it, why would we give any of them one cent more of our hard earned money.

      You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
  13. March 31, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Because SOMEONE ought to point out the obvious . . . this particular discussion thread is for Proposal 14-1, not 15-1.

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
  14. Richard Steckmeyer
    April 23, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Michigan roads and bridges are rated among the nations worst. This spring will bring the worst potholes we have seen in many years. Todays crumbling roads and bridges didn't suddenly happen overnight. It is due to decades of Lansing politicians underfunding Michigan's roads and bridges. Our elected politicians were sent to Lansing to make the hard choices in prioritizing our government spending and they failed miserably to maintain our states roads and bridges. Every elected politician who supported this proposal for a use/sales tax increase from 6% to 7% to fix the roads and bridges has shirked their responsibility big time by pawning this problem off on the voters. Lansing politicians wrote Proposal 1 and are now telling us that we need to pass this proposal to fix the roads and bridges. The problem is that Proposal 1 has several other laws which will take effect if this proposal is passed, and these other laws are NOT part of the ballot language !
    Most of the money collected under Proposal 1 will NOT be spent on fixing roads and bridges ! It's estimated that Proposal 1 will increase the state tax revenue for fiscal year 2015-2016 by approximately 2 billion dollars, of which 1.3 billion dollars will go to funding transportation initially to accelerate repayment of the existing transportation bond debt, increase overall road maintenance, and spend more on transit and recreational grants. Of the additional 700 million dollars in new tax revenue, 300 million would go to public schools, 100 million to local government revenue sharing, 260 million to increase the state Earned Income Tax Credit and pledges for future spending on local bus and transit agencies.
    Proposal 1 deserves to be defeated. I don't see how money spent on repayment of bond debt, transit and recreational grants, public schools, government revenue sharing or increasing the Earned Income Credit will contribute to the repair of Michigan's roads and bridges ! Funding infrastructure repairs and improvements are vital to the future of Michigan and I believe the voters would be willing to support a reasonable fuel tax increase earmarked to be spent only for roads and bridges. Today Michigan collects 19 cents per gallon gasoline and 15 cents per gallon diesel while the federal government levies 18.4 cent per gallon gasoline excise tax, and 24.4 cent per gallon diesel fuel excise tax.

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)

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