For Immediate Release: May 2, 2017

Contact: Eric Lupher, 734.548.8001
Jordon Newton, 517.485.9444

Citizens Research Council Provides the Facts to Inform the Income Tax Debate

LIVONIA, Mich. – Proposals to eliminate or cut the tax rate of the state personal income tax have garnered much news coverage for the Michigan Legislature this year. To help inform the debate on this issue, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has published a paper that reviews the history of the state income tax and the role that the income tax plays in funding Michigan’s state government (and by extension many local governments). It also looks at whether tax revenues are adequate and reviews available options if the rate is cut or the tax is eliminated.

“Citizens Research Council believes better information leads to better government and that’s what we provide,” said Eric Lupher, Citizens Research Council president. “We want state policy makers, legislative advocates and residents to be well-informed about Michigan’s tax structure and its personal income tax before decisions are made on this important policy issue.”

The state personal income tax is the single largest source of state generated revenue for Michigan’s state government. It accounts for more than one-third of all state tax revenues and for nearly three-quarters of resources available to the state’s general fund. More so than any other state tax, it is the tax policy makers turn to when lean economic conditions necessitate additional resources to fund state government and it is the tax state policy makers have turned to most often in their desire to provide tax relief.

According to Lupher, the paper makes no value judgment on the rate of taxation in Michigan relative to other states nor the potential ramifications of a tax cut. Rather, it explores the feasibility of existing tax revenues growing at a sufficient rate to make up for lost income tax revenue, the options for increasing taxes on consumption or property to make up for lost revenue, and the ramifications of spending cuts.

“We want to provide thorough, well-researched information that allows people to make more informed decisions and better public policy on issues like taxation that have a big impact on our state.” said Lupher.

CRC’s report is available at no cost on the Citizens Research Council’s website, www.crcmich.org.

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