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MI Tax Threats Lose Some Teeth?

November 10, 2008

Lansing, MI – Vote for a tax increase and get recalled. That's long been the conventional wisdom for Michigan lawmakers, but it's wisdom that might be changing. In last week's election, recalls based on tax votes didn't make it to the ballot in the first place, or failed if they did.

Former Michigan House Tax Policy Committee Chair Lynn Jondahl says the change in public sentiment is likely tied to the faltering state and national economies. And he adds that it comes at a key time because state investment in infrastructure would be a timely economic stimulus.

"Clearly, the public wants services. They want an education system, health care, transportation – services that government provides."

Jondahl says taxes play a role in growing the economy: sometimes tax cuts are appropriate, and sometimes tax increases are appropriate.

"People understand that the way you have services is by paying for them. Voters are more sophisticated."

Critics point to the failed recalls as a "free pass" for lawmakers to raise taxes without accountability.

Jondahl is currently a board member for the Michigan League of Human Services.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - MI