Michigan taxpayers have told legislators, "Don't hike our taxes; reduce spending." A new poll released yesterday by the Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV shows that Michiganders would rather reduce state spending, including public employee benefits, than pay more in taxes. Forty-three percent of voters prefer the use of cuts to balance the state's budget, compared to 27 percent who say "the budget should be balanced by equally cutting programs or employee wages and benefits, and increasing state taxes." Only 19 percent would raise taxes alone.
This is an important finding because it confirms a couple of points we here at NTU have been making for a long time. First, taxpayers in Michigan don't want any more tax hikes in a state facing massive $3 billion budget shortfall. Second, just as they have reduced their budgets, taxpayers expect the government to do the same. This should serve as a notice to legislators in other states weighing options to balance their budgets. If Michigan's overburdened taxpayers reject tax hikes, then others likely will too.