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Michigan Governor’s Plan: Own the Cities, Abolish Business Tax by Taxing Old People, and Block Minorities from Voting?

March 14, 2011

Putnam says the AARP planned the Tuesday rally, but invited the League and other groups to join.

“The Snyder plan reduces business taxes by 86 percent and increases personal income taxes 31 percent, mostly by eliminating the EITC and increasing taxes on seniors,” she says. “Our groups agree that vulnerable working families, most of them with children, and seniors should not bear the brunt of a dramatic tax decreases to business. Studies show that Michigan’s business tax is average — we’re not a high-tax state. Part of the efforts are to keep groups from being pitted against each other.”

While Putnam advocates taxing services, an imprecise and inefficient method of taxation, Snyder apparently sees the lost revenue coming from seniors.

Though Gov. Rick Snyder says he is not interested in hurting unions, yesterday’s Senate approval of a package that gives Emergency Managers complete power over financially troubled towns and school districts means he will soon be asked to sign off on measures that are expected to eliminate union jobs across the state.

In a party line vote, and despite impassioned speeches of protest by the body’s Democratic minority, the Michigan Senate approved legislation that threatens to take over and even dissolve local governments that refuse to balance their budgets by breaking labor contracts.

According to the law, which has already been approved in the House, the governor will be able to declare “financial emergency” in towns or school districts and appoint someone to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, and eliminate services.

Under the law whole cities or school districts could be eliminated without any public participation or oversight, and amendments designed to provide minimal safeguards and public involvement were voted down.

An amendment to require Emergency Managers to hold monthly public meetings to let people know how they are governing was rejected by Senate Republicans, along with proposals to cap Emergency Manager compensation and require that those appointed to run school districts have some background in education.

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