Poll shows strong opposition to ditching state income tax

Feb 13, 2017

A survey commissioned by the Michigan League for Public Policy shows little public support for a recently introduced bill in the state Senate that would eventually eliminate Michigan’s state income tax.

Gilda Jacobs is a former Democratic state senator, and the CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, which advocates for social programs.

“I think that legislators really need to be very careful proposing this kind of legislation,” Jacobs said. “(Eliminating the income tax) really can have some devastating effects for the state in future years."

EPIC/MRA conducted the telephone survey of 600 people from all areas of the state. According to the results, 74% of people oppose the idea of eliminating income tax without a plan to replace revenue lost by the state.

Read the survey results here.

More than a dozen Republican state senators introduced the bill, including Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R-Harrison Township). It would phase out Michigan’s income tax by 2022.

Read the bill here.

Brandenburg’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.

The poll seems to indicate staunch public opposition to the proposed legislation to eliminate the state income tax, which is currently 4.25%.

“I honestly think this is more of an ideological effort by some of the more conservative Republicans,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs also fears that repealing the tax without a plan to replace the revenue it generates would lead to a budget crisis in future years.

In Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback  led the charge on implementing similar tax reform that lowered individual rates for the state income tax and decreased the small-business tax rate to zero. Those reforms led to political turmoil for the sitting governor.