Friday, August 01, 2014

Green Party of Michigan opposes millions being stolen from general fund to line Big Business' pockets

The Green Party of Michigan notes the following:

Ecological Wisdom      *  Social Justice
Grassroots Democracy  *  Non-Violence

Green Party of Michigan

**  News Release  **
**  ------------  **
    August 1, 2014

For More Information, Contact:
Fred Vitale, GPMI Chair
    (313) 580-4905

Paul Homeniuk, GPMI Nominee for Governor
Paul Homeniuk for Governor Putting People First
    (517) 337-2297

Michigan Greens Oppose Proposal 1 on Primary Ballot
Urge Citizens to Vote NO on Legislative Package That Shifts
Authority from Local to State, Taxes from Businesses to Consumers

    The Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) urges voters
at next Tuesday's primary election to say NO to the
shift of taxes and authority contained in statewide
Proposal 1.

    Formally Proposal 14-1, the nine-bill package
adopted by the Legislature would end the personal
property tax assessed by local governments on
business equipment based on its remaining value
and useful life.

    To make up part (but not all) of the personal-
property tax revenue many local governments depend
on and would lose, the state would share some of
what it collects in the use tax charged to consumers
who buy goods by mail or on line from outside Michigan.

    The shift would be administered by a new "local"
government agency which actually covers the whole
state.  In addition, the five members appointed to
the new Local Community Stabilization Authority board
would have greater control over people’s rights to
decide how their communities should progress.

    Paul Homeniuk, GPMI's candidate for governor,
has put out his own statement opposing Proposal 1
as "sleight of hand" by the Legislature.  It is
posted on his campaign Website at

    Paul notes that the Legislature's own analysis
shows a loss of $107 million in general-fund revenue
in 2016 from Proposal 1.  "In 2017, the loss will be
$350 million, and at least $500 million per year by
FY 2025.  This means less money for roads, for schools,
and for revenue sharing with local governments.

    "When you throw in that the actual formula for
reimbursing local authorities for lost personal
property taxes does not guarantee actual losses,
only an estimate based on year-old figures, this
bit of legal acrobatics is nothing more than
stealing from the people of Michigan to give
yet another tax break to big corporate donors."

    As further evidence of this, Paul points out
that Proposal 1 "allows the Michigan Strategic
Fund, controlled by Michigan Economic Development
Corporation (MEDC), to lower or grant exemptions
for businesses if they claim they will invest
$25 million in new equipment in Michigan.

    "But as with most MEDC programs, little or
no verification or documentation is required."

    Paul adds that the Legislature also "slipped
control of the METRO Act/Right of way into the
hands of the unelected five-person board of the
Local Community Stabilization Authority.  This
unelected authority could tell local communities
which permits they have to approve or deny for
a wide range of telecommunications expansion."

    John Anthony La Pietra, GPMI's Platform
Committee chair and the party's nominee for
Attorney General, observes that even people
who don't buy anything online or by mail may
be presumed to owe use tax -- and pay it --
on their state income-tax returns.

    For more information about the Green Party
of Michigan, its candidates, its platform, and
its values, visit:

You can also “like” the Green Party of Michigan US
Facebook page and follow GPMI's Twitter feed

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created/distributed using donated labor

Green Party of Michigan
PO Box 504
Warren, MI  48090-0504

    GPMI was formed in 1987 to address environmental
issues in Michigan politics.  Greens are organized
in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Each
state Green Party sets its own goals and creates its
own structure, but US Greens agree on Ten Key Values:

    Ecological Wisdom
    Grassroots Democracy
    Social Justice
    Community Economics
    Respect for Diversity
    Personal/Global Responsibility
    Future Focus/Sustainability

For the latest news,
“like” the Green Party of Michigan US Facebook page --
and follow us at Twitter:  @MIGreenParty.