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AFP Urges Caution Toward Whitmer Budget: Gimmicky Election-Year Spending Can’t Paper Over Record

Feb 9, 2022 by AFP

Lansing, MI – Americans for Prosperity-Michigan urged caution toward Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal, which limits tax relief to a few carveouts and spends more than has ever been spent in Michigan history even as Michiganders struggle under the burden of inflation. Annie Patnaude, state director for the grassroots group, issued the following statement:

“Governor Whitmer’s budget fails to provide lasting and meaningful tax cuts that hardworking Michiganders deserve. Instead, it allows Lansing bureaucrats to spend these dollars on fleeting programs. We should implement genuine and substantial tax rate reductions that would help Michigan attract more businesses and people for the long term.

“It’s hardly surprising that Governor Whitmer would try to hide her tax-and-spend record behind gimmicky election-year tax carve outs and spending. In 2018, she proposed a regressive 45-cent tax increase that would have cost taxpayers around $2 billion annually. In 2007, she voted yes on then-Governor Granholm’s ‘temporary’ personal income tax hike—a tax hike we’re still paying on 15 years later.

“During her tenure in the state legislature, Governor Whitmer also voted to support more than $4 billion in special handouts and subsidies to wealthy, well-connected corporations, a habit which she continues to enjoy with over a billion dollars in special interest handouts being awarded in the past month alone. She also supports the inflation-driving spending policies in Washington, DC.

“While it is good news that our state government has a surplus, the real solution is to fairly return it to Michigan families and businesses. Taxpayers ought to be allowed to bring more of their money home from the start, not just when there is a temporary surplus in an election year.”

Background: Up for Reelection, Governor Whitmer is Now Apparently Concerned About Tax Relief 

  • Governor Whitmer acts like she’s concerned about delivering tax relief to households now that it is an election year. However, Governor Whitmer has proposed and voted to support billions in new taxes on families.
  • On the campaign trail in 2018, Governor Whitmer proposed an extremely regressive 45 cent increase in gas taxes totaling $2 billion that would have harmed low-income taxpayers and fixed-income seniors the most.
  • In 2007, then-State Senator Gretchen Whitmer voted yes to a temporary increase to the state personal income tax rate when she served in the State Senate (HB 5194, Senate roll call 397). Fifteen years later, taxpayers are still paying on that $11.7 billion tax hike.
  • While she was in the State Senate, Whitmer voted to support three separate tax hikes proposed by Governor Granholm. And to add insult to injury, she voted to support $4.5 billion in special tax favors to wealthy and politically well-connected corporations.
  • Now, in an election year, Gov. Whitmer is proposing tax cuts and pretends she wants to help average Michiganders.
  • State government spending has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. Tax dollars should go back to taxpayers through permanent, broad-based tax cuts, not an election-year gimmick.