Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Graduated Income Tax on the Ballot for 2012?

Cranky Jack was complaining today that the Democrats haven't introduced any counter-proposals to Snyder's budget. Well, they have now.

State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, has introduced a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to implement a graduated income tax in Michigan, saying the evidence is clear that state residents want income to be taxed in accordance with ability to pay.

"I call on the Republican majority to pass this resolution and place a graduated income tax proposal on the ballot," Irwin said in a statement. "Then the people of Michigan can decide whether they want a more fair and equitable distribution of our tax burden."

And the Republicans promptly laughed at that notion as they walked out the door for cocktails at the country club.

Irwin cited the Wayne State study completed last fall that showed that 64% of Michigan adults favored a graduated income tax. He claims it's not a direct counter-proposal to Snyder's plan, but a way to get people thinking about the idea again - seeing as how the Republican majority would never, ever, consider bringing this up. Ever.

Somebody else has an idea though, a name that should be familiar, and can possibly pull this off...

Former state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, a Washtenaw County Democrat, recently said she's not counting on the Legislature to put the issue on the ballot.

Instead, she's forming a grass-roots action agency to work toward collecting some 300,000-plus signatures from voters in order to put a graduated income tax question on the ballot in November 2012.

THAT would be interesting. Very interesting. Where do I sign?