Labor, Progressive, Environmental, & Education Groups Denounce Tax Giveaway, Call on Whitmer to Veto



LANSING, MI - This afternoon more than a dozen organizations penned a letter to Governor Whitmer condemning the passage of legislation this week that would provide huge tax giveaways to wealthy individuals while putting at risk funding to support Michigan families and communities. The groups called for the Governor to veto any proposal that hurts people struggling to get by in order to give more to the rich and wealthy corporations who have profited during the pandemic and increased inflation by raising prices.


Signers representing thousands of Michiganders from every corner of the state and spanning labor, progressive, environmental, and educational organizations and nonprofits, include: AFT Michigan, Center for Change Northern Michigan Advocacy, Clean Water Action, Detroit Action, Michigan AFL-CIO, Michigan AFL-CIO Advocates, Michigan AFL-CIO Labor Foundation, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Michigan Faith in Action, Michigan United, Michigan People's Campaign, Student Advocacy Center of Michigan, SiX Action, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, Scout Institute, United for Respect, We the People Action Fund, and 482Forward.


The coalition calls on the Michigan State Government to make long term investments and changes for all Michiganders, especially those that have been brought to light by the COVID-19 Pandemic, and for Governor Whitmer to veto the bill or similar bills when brought to her desk.


“Michigan’s essential workers have been working tirelessly for the entirety of the pandemic, risking their lives to keep us safe,” said RON BIEBER, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, a statewide labor federation representing more than a million active and retired union members. “The Michigan Legislature wants to reward them by donating a quarter of their general fund to the wealthy and corporations - it’s shameful.”


Coalition members emphasize the need to fund a better future for all Michiganders, no matter who they are or where they live, especially by addressing income inequality. They decry the bill as a tax break giveaway to the people who got richer during the pandemic.

“Wealthy Michiganders are already paying far less than their fair share,” said EILEEN HAYES, Executive Director of Michigan Faith in Action, a statewide organization of faith communities. “If you make $500,000 a year in Michigan today, you’re contributing less to our public services than you would if you lived in 39 other states. We should be talking about raising taxes on the wealthy, not cutting them.”


The coalition noted that the tax proposal is fiscally irresponsible, reducing revenues by $3.1 billion in the states for the 2023 state budget, putting federal aid from the American Rescue Plan at risk, and reducing state income dollars by $2.4 billion dollars every year after. This drastic drop will cause cuts to schools, water, roads, healthcare, and other critical programs serving Michiganders the greatest in need.


“This bill does more than cut taxes for the wealthy,” says MOLLY SWEENEY, Co-Director of 482Forward, a Detroit education advocacy group. “This bill will defund the public services that we rely on every day. In the midst of a teacher shortage and an education crisis, this bill will reduce funding that could go to our children in schools.”


“Our roads and water infrastructure are in disrepair,” said MARY BRADY-ENERSON, Michigan Director of Clean Water Action. “Investments in our infrastructure today, with good, union jobs, are necessary so we can provide the future our children deserve.”

Coalition members emphasize that it is only when wealthy corporations and individuals pay their fair share in taxes that we can fund the essential services like schools, affordable healthcare, and community services that make Michigan a great state for our families.


Coalition Letter:

As a group of Michigan-based organizations dedicated to fighting for multiracial, working class people everywhere, we are calling on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to protect our communities and veto proposed tax cuts for the wealthy.


In Michigan, most of us know that we need to make the long term investments that will create a better future for all people in our state, no matter who they are or where they live.

From rampant income inequality to crumbling healthcare infrastructure, the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the many struggles Michiganders are facing.


But instead of providing for our communities and our people, the Michigan legislature is poised to pass a bill giving tax breaks to the very people who got richer during the pandemic. These pandemic profiteers increased their personal net worths by billions while ordinary people have struggled to pay bills and take care of their families and loved ones.


This short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible tax proposal will give out billions of dollars to the wealthy rather than provide support for those who need it most. This tax cut is projected to reduce revenues by $3.1 billion for the 2023 state budget - putting vital federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act at risk, and costing the state around $2.4 billion dollars every year after. That means deep cuts to our schools, water, roads, healthcare, and critical resources for Michigan people.


When we go all in for all of us, we can make Michigan a place we’re proud to call home, with the world-class schools, affordable healthcare and community services our families need. It is imperative that Governor Whitmer veto these irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy and protect our communities.



Signed,

AFT Michigan

Center for Change Northern Michigan Advocacy Clean Water Action

Detroit Action

Michigan AFL-CIO

Michigan AFL-CIO Advocates

Michigan AFL-CIO Labor Foundation Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition Michigan Faith in Action

Michigan United

Michigan People's Campaign

Student Advocacy Center of Michigan SiX Action

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

Scout Institute

United for Respect

We the People Action Fund

482Forward