Don't Handcuff Michigan's Future

By Gov. Rick Snyder | October 26, 2012


There's some great news in Michigan -- our economy is turning around, and our reinvention is starting to take hold. Unfortunately, the ballot initiatives coming before Michigan voters on November 6 could send our state back in time and reverse many of the reforms that made our successes possible.

How has this success been possible? It's all thanks to teamwork and people coming together to make the changes Michigan needs to reinvent ourselves.

Here are some facts that point to Michigan's undeniable turnaround:

  • Michigan's economy is at a 10-year high.
  • Unemployment is 4.9 points lower today than it was at its 14.2% peak in August 2009.
  • Home sales are up 10 percent through June compared with the nation's 5 percent growth rate.
  • Michigan's median household income rose by 2.4% in in 2011. That's 8th best among all the states.
  • Our payroll employment growth rate was 4th strongest among the states in 2011 after ranking 49th in 2008 and 48th in 2009.
  • Our GDP growth rate was 6th strongest among the states in 2011 after ranking 50th in 2008 and 2009.
  • As of this summer, only twelve states and the District of Columbia recorded a higher percentage point drop in the jobless rate over the past year than Michigan.

One of our most significant accomplishments that helped us achieve this economic success is the elimination of the job-killing Michigan Business Tax -- a terrible policy that drove businesses out of our state. Thanks to our legislature, we were able to eliminate that tax and reform our system. The result? Michigan is now recognized as having the 12th-friendliest tax system in America. And our corporate tax ranking -- which was 49th in the nation -- jumped up to 7th-best in America.

However, successes like these would not have been possible if Proposal 5's two-thirds requirement were in place. Here's why:

Under Proposal 5, a two-thirds vote of the state legislature is required to raise taxes. But it doesn't simply limit tax increases -- it blocks our ability to cut taxes while also handcuffing our ability to enact good reforms.

When we eliminated the Michigan Business Tax, we had to replace it with a corporate income tax that is fairer, simpler, and better for job creators. That reform did not pass by two-thirds, though. In other words, under Proposal 5, we would be stuck with the Michigan Business Tax -- and Michigan would not be where it is today.

I'm proud of the progress that we have made toward reinventing Michigan. We want to keep bringing our unemployment rate down, create more and better jobs, restore our cities and revitalize our education system.

We're well on our way to making our future even brighter -- now is not the time to take a giant leap backwards.