Strong Schools Require a “Yes” Vote on Proposal 1!

Jul 5, 2014 by

You and I know that hearing any politician say, “Trust me” seems laughable in this day and age. Yet, this time, I believe that the Michigan Legislature is right in asking for our trust and voting “Yes” on Proposal 1 on August 5th.

As always: Trust – but Verify

Below is justification for what I believe is necessary to snag a “Yes” vote on this critical proposition:

  1. This time it is true: What is good for business will help lift your local community. The Michigan Legislature took action to repeal the personal property tax and replace the revenues lost to communities with a portion of the state’s 6% use tax. Voting “Yes” on Proposal 1 supports your local community, school—and the state as a whole—without raising your taxes.
  2. Voting “Yes” puts an end to Michigan’s duplicative Personal Property Tax (e.g. PPT) on small businesses. Currently, small businesses pay a PPT every year on the equipment they own, such as computers, office furniture and machinery. This is a “double whammy” because they already paid sales tax on this stuff. Yep, that’s correct: Folks are being taxed twice on the same equipment. “Unfair,” you say? I think so, too.

“But,” you may ask, “What about the money raised for this tax—doesn’t it go to fund my local government and public schools? What happens to them?” A “Yes” vote on Proposal 1 will guarantee 100 percent replacement revenue to local governments and school districts, with no tax increase to anyone.

What’s the catch?

Proposal 1 is NOT a tax increase: It is paid for—entirely—by eliminating special corporate tax breaks, and with a statewide Essential Services Assessment paid only by manufacturers receiving a PPT reduction.

There are several more reasons to support this initiative:

  • The current PPT is a drag on small business. By eliminating it, we incentivize companies to invest in spiffing up their businesses, buying new equipment and creating more jobs.
  • Our neighboring states do not have a similar tax; currently, it is actually a dis-incentive to attract new business to Pure Michigan.
  • Eliminating this tax will help Michigan’s effort to recruit new businesses by eliminating a reason for businesses to flee the state.
  • This positively impacts Michigan’s business climate without touching your personal taxes. Proposal 1 does NOT increase taxes for you or for businesses.
  • The proposal creates a more stable funding system for communities by eliminating special corporate tax breaks and re-dedicating existing tax dollars to local governments via reimbursement of lost revenues.
  • Proposal 1 guarantees the reimbursement of 100 percent of any lost revenues for local services including police, fire, ambulances, schools, libraries, jails and other local services.
  • Supporting Proposal 1 helps with Michigan’s fragile turnaround.

In my opinion, Proposal 1 is a, “Win-win-win.” A deal like this does not come
around very often!

The good news is that there is no organized opposition to Proposal 1. Yet, we know
that the trust level for politicians is at an all-time low. Voting “No”—or simply
skipping an item on the ballot—is the default reaction when a complicated issue is put
before voters. This time, voting “No” hurts our community…and us.

As Tip O’Neill, the famous former Speaker of the House once declared, “All politics
are local.” His famous quote encapsulates the principle that a politician’s success is directly tied to their ability to understand and influence the issues impacting their constituents. On this particular issue, we need the politicians to be successful! How right you were, Mr. Speaker: “All politics are local!”

So, remember to Vote on August 5…and remember to vote, “Yes” on Proposal 1. And, if you agree with my assessment of the measure, why not go the extra step by encouraging others you know to do the same?

Learn more about how voting YES on Proposal 1 helps you and your local community. For more information visit: http://www.strongandsafecommunities.com

Tom Watkins served as Michigan’s state superintendent of schools 2001-05. He can be emailed at: tdwatkins88@gmail.com, or followed on twitter at: @tdwatkins88

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Strong Schools Require a “Yes” Vote on Proposal 1! | DomeMagazine.com.

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