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Topic: Fair Tax plan gets lawmaker help

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Steve Myers
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Fair Tax plan gets lawmaker help

Updated: May 7, 2007 08:10 AM EDT


LANSING - There are various tax plans floating around the state capital. One would eliminate state income tax and replace it with a higher sales tax, and for businesses to not pay tax at all.

State government gets its money in different ways, mostly through sales tax, income tax and the taxes businesses pay to operate in the state.

The Michigan Fair Tax Association is trying to get this plan on the 2008 ballot. The group spoke with lawmakers Thursday, and 36 of them said they've introduced a bill to try to make that happen.

Rep. Fulton Sheen is leading the lawmakers on this. They want to push all the tax into one tax, what they call a Fair Tax.

Under the plan, Michigan residents would no longer pay a 3.9 percent income tax, but the sales tax would rise to 9.5 percent. Businesses would not pay tax. The hope under this plan is that Michigan would be such an attractive place to do business more employers would come here.

Roger Buchholtz of the Michigan Fair Tax Association told 24 Hour News 8 this plan is more fair because taxpayers would be more aware of how much money goes to support state government.

"The same amount of money would be raised under the fair tax system," he said, "except that this would be simple, open and visible."

Supporters add it would also be more efficient because the state would no longer have to fund a bureaucracy to collect income and business tax, and businesses would no longer have to spend all that money complying.

"All our goods and services have all of this built into the price," Buchholz said, "and we can't compete."

Sales taxes, like rising gas prices, can be a bigger burden on the poor. But Fair Tax supporters say they've figured out a way to give some of that money back - a "prebate" of all the sales taxes up to the poverty level sent each month to Michigan citizens.

There is also concern that consumers will go to other states to buy their goods and services, but supporters believe that won't happen on a large scale, and that the days of tax-free internet purchases are numbered.

They also argue sales tax is an unreliable source of income. "Under the income tax system," Buchholz told 24 Hour News 8, "when you lose your job, you have no income, the state gets no revenue."

But to change the state's tax structure, there will have to be an amendment to the constitution, which voters must approve during a general election - and the next one is 2008.

Lawmakers can request a ballot issue, but if that doesn't work, supporters will start a petition drive, likely before the end of this year.

The biggest hurdle, though, may be Lansing itself. Lawmakers use the tax code to influence behavior, like tax credits for certain kinds of purchases.

To that, Buchholz said, "Let's hope they want to do what's best for Michigan and not what's best for their reelection campaign."

On the Net:

Michigan Fair Tax

Rep. Fulton Sheen


Steve Myers
Post Fri Aug 03, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Or we could be like the successful states like Florida that have no income tax and no "Flat Tax". More government programs and high taxes are not the solution to our problems.

Adam - Mysearchisover.com - FB - Jobs
Post Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:34 am 
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Cory M Lorincz

If Michgan adopts A fair tax system it will do little to reduce the tax burden on the average citizen. The real problem we have been facing is the Federal Income tax, reducing this burden would allow the state taxes to be less of a burden. Unfortunatly this will probably never happen without A President and congress that is like minded, and that is a far stretch from our present situation.

States like Nevada and Florida are very succesful without property tax or income tax whichever it may be. Unfortunatly Michigan doesen't seem to have enough vision for the future to decide on an apropriate tax plan, be it fair tax, lower tax, business taxes or no tax altogether.

What we really need is leadership in the state houses and the governors office that is forward thinking. Instead of chasing off our citizens and our business entities we need to give them reasons to stay. It is true that a sales tax would garnish more revenue from tourism, illegal aliens, and drug dealers etc, by capturing the revenue on the tail end, but why do we need to tax our private property ( our income ) in the first place.

If the budget problems and state taxes were dealt with from a forward thinking perspective years ago we would not be in the mess we are now.

Just a thought, for my first post.
Post Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:17 pm 
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Dave Starr

Leadership; I wonder if the folks in Lansing have heard of it?

I used to care, but I take a pill for that now.

Pushing buttons sure can be fun.

When a lion wants to go somewhere, he doesn’t worry about how many hyenas are in the way.

Paddle faster, I hear banjos.
Post Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:06 am 
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Thanks you for updating us with this interesting information.you did very great job. keep it up

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Post Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:57 am 
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