MI group starts ballot drive for graduated income tax

tax return form 010916_180651

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group launched a ballot drive Friday to replace Michigan’s flat personal income tax with a graduated system, which it said would cut taxes for more than 90 percent of residents and raise them on higher earners.

The proposed constitutional amendment would require the Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to enact a “fair” individual income tax in 2021, under certain parameters. The 4.25 income tax would have to be reduced for individuals making $175,000 or less ($350,000 for joint filers), and the plan would have to generate $1.5 billion more — half for schools and half for infrastructure.

Branden Snyder, executive director of Detroit Action, a community-organizing group that is involved in the effort, said schools, roads and water infrastructure have been underfunded.

“All the while, the wealthiest Michiganders have not paid their fair share,” he said. “This ballot proposal will make our tax system fair and raise the revenue needed to fund the critical services that we all need.”

The Michiganders for the Commonwealth ballot committee submitted petition wording for the Fair Tax Michigan measure to the Board of State Canvassers. Once the language is approved, it will have until early July to submit 425,000 valid voter signatures.

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