Government / Politics

Michigan Proposal 5 (November 2012)


The Michigan ballot on November 6, 2012 will contain 6 proposals.  This post is regarding Proposal 5.

Proposal 5 would require a 2/3 majority vote in both the State House and State Senate or a citizens vote to impose new/additional taxes.

My biggest issue with this proposal is the vague language and broad statements.  It is unclear whether this will apply to other tax provisions (school tax increases currently require a 3/4 vote).  It is also unclear whether this proposal would require actions by local/city governments to implement city or local taxes to be approved by the Michigan House/Senate.  Requiring Michigan House/Senate  approval for local taxes would create an unnecessary burden on the State government and also increase the State power to regulate local goverments.

According to CRC Michgian: “The new requirement would be much broader and apply to adopting any new state tax, raising the rates of all existing state taxes, and expanding the base of all existing state taxes.  Proposal 2012-05 is silent on whether the intended two-thirds vote requirement for “new or additional taxes” is meant to supersede the three-fourths vote requirement for school operating taxes.” (CRC Michigan)

Official Language of Proposal 5: 

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION
TO LIMIT THE ENACTMENT OF NEW TAXES BY STATE GOVERNMENT
This proposal would:
Require a 2/3 majority vote of the State House and the State Senate, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the State of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation.
This section shall in no way be construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution.
Should this proposal be approved?

For more analysis check out fhe Citizens Research Center:

http://www.crcmich.org/PUBLICAT/2010s/2012/memo1120.pdf

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