mybaycity.com December 2, 2018
Columns Article 11413

GRADUATED INCOME TAX: Poll West Michigan Most Favorable, Thumb Lowest

"Bad Idea" or Necessary Funding Boost for Major Projects?

December 2, 2018
By: Dave Rogers



With a host of expensive projects needed, some Michigan lawmakers are searching for financing answers.

Michigan voters would support a graduated income tax, according to a poll by EPIC-MRA.

Democratic state lawmakers commissioned a poll to find out how a graduated state income tax proposal might fare on a future election ballot.

Republicans call the proposal" a blatant redistribution of wealth that punishes individuals and job providers for being successful."

Democrats support at a high of 83 percent, Republicans at 58 and independent voters at 65 percent. Tea Party supporters are also in favor with 52 percent saying "yes" to a graduated income tax.

The poll was commissioned by state Reps. Tom Cochran (D-Mason), Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park), and Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak) along with state Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) WGVU Radio of Grand Valley State University breaks down some of the findings from a poll of 600 active general election voters asking this question: "There may be a petition drive to place a graduated state income tax proposal on a future election ballot. If it were approved by voters, it would cut taxes for 95 percent of Michigan residents.

"The current 4.25 percent state income tax would be replaced with a tax system where Michigan residents with the highest incomes would pay the highest tax rates, residents with household incomes below $160,000 would pay significantly less, and those with the lowest incomes would pay much less."

If this proposal appeared on a future election ballot and the election were held today, would you vote YES to adopt it, or would you vote NO to reject it?

An overwhelming 70 percent majority said "yes" while 20 percent said "no."

The greatest support came from West Michigan respondents with 76 percent in favor of a graduated income tax. Respondents live in Michigan's Thumb area gave the lowest favorability at 64 percent.

Break it down further by party and ideological lines, Democrats support was at a high of 83 percent, Republicans at 58 and independent voters at 65 percent. Tea Party supporters are also in favor with 52 percent saying "yes" to a graduated income tax.

The poll was commissioned by state Reps. Tom Cochran (D-Mason), Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park), and Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak) along with state Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor).

The Michigan Republican Party issued the following statement: "A Graduated Income tax would need a Constitutional Amendment that requires a 2/3 Majority vote of both the Michigan House and Senate to get placed on the ballot for voters. While it is true that generally pro-business Republicans control the Michigan House and Senate, nothing would prevent House and Senate Democrats from either relentlessly pushing this idea in the House and Senate, or from continuously prompting progressive grassroots organizations to place this bad idea on a Michigan Ballot."



0202 nd 12-09-2018

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