Proposal 5 Could Hinder Reform

Trans4M’s broad list of members came together around one main idea: To fix Michigan’s struggling transportation system, elected officials must make sweeping changes to the ways we raise and distribute money for things like highways, buses, and trains.

Our current system can’t keep up. Buses are leaving people at the curb. Many cities don’t have enough money to repair their streets. And one report even said that Michigan needs about $1.4 billion just to keep our roads and bridge system in fair condition.

Over the next few years, wise investments in transportation are crucial to Michigan’s success.

Therefore, many Trans4M coalition members oppose ballot Proposal 5, which would prevent tax reform in Michigan. It would amend the Michigan Constitution to prohibit and new taxes by the State of Michigan unless approved by a 2/3 majority of members in each chamber of the legislature or by a statewide vote of the people. It would make transportation funding reform nearly impossible.

If we’re serious about reforming our transportation policy we should carefully review this proposal before voting.

Here are some of the Trans4M members who oppose Proposal 5:

  • Transportation Riders United:
    • “Even with the current rules, state funding for transit has not been increased in 25 years. This proposal would make it far harder to fund transit and other important services. We urge all Michigan voters to oppose Prop 5—a radical and harmful change to our state constitution.”
  • Disability Advocates of Kent County:
    • “Proposal 5 is a scheme to institute minority rule in the Michigan Legislature, letting a handful of politicians create legislative gridlock by overruling the majority on tax issues. Adding such onerous hurdles in the State’s budgetary process will leave us unable to address our fiscal health when the inevitable ups and downs of the Michigan economy hit us.”
  • Michigan Municipal League
    • “…on the surface that sounds like a great idea. But the fact is that this proposal is bad for Michigan residents, bad for Michigan businesses and undemocratic, allowing a small minority of legislators (13 out of 148) to stop legislation.”
  • Michigan Land Use Institute
    • “Proposal 5 will have a huge impact on the way we get around. If it passes, you can expect your local roads to get much worse, your local bus agency will struggle, and people will have less options for getting around.”
  • Michigan Suburbs Alliance
    • “Michigan already has numerous barriers to adequate funding that have pushed our communities into crisis. Adding this new procedural hurdle that would allow 1/3 of either chamber (just 8 state senators) to prevent any change in state tax revenues would further cripple our efforts to provide needed revenues, or even just fix broken formulas.”
  • Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM)
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Michigan Environmental Council

Here are some of the other organizations opposing Proposal 5:

  • Detroit Free Press
    • “There is no more dangerous change to state government on the ballot than Proposal 12-5. That is a prescription for disaster. Some call it Californication — after the state that is so bound up in tax restrictions that it often can’t even produce budgets — but you can also simply call it a nightmare.”
  • Detroit News
  • Observer & Eccentric Newspapers
  • Holland Sentinel
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association
  • Gov. Rick Snyder & 2010 opponent Virg Bernero
  • Senior advocates:  AARP Michigan, Area Agencies on Aging
  • The Business Community:  Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Lansing Regional Chamber, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Michigan Association of Bankers, Traverse City Chamber of Commerce
  • Unions:  AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, United Auto Workers
  • Education:  American Federation of Teachers,  Michigan Head Start Association, Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan Education Association, Michigan Community College Association, Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan
  • Health care:  Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Health Care Association of Michigan
  • Michigan Sheriffs’ Association
  • Michigan League for Human Services
  • League of Women Voters of Michigan
  • Michigan Catholic Conference
  • Michigan Farm Bureau
  • And many others

Supporters of the bill include the Michigan Alliance for Prosperity and Manuel “Matty” Moroun.

Check out Defend Michigan Democracy for more information about the proposal.
To see the actual ballot language, check out the Detroit Free Press analysis.

Please take time to carefully review ALL ballot proposals this November and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.

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