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Democrats hint at income tax ballot drive in 2016

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Some Democrats are hoping to see a question on the 2016 ballot that would bring the graduated income tax to Michigan.

“And so you look at all the taxes that people pay, people in the middle and at the lower end are paying more of their income in taxes than the wealthy,” said State Rep. Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak. “A graduated income tax would balance that out.”

Townsend says he thinks one reason Proposal One was rejected is that people don’t think Michigan’s current system treats people fairly.

“People in the middle class are tired of paying taxes into a system  that’s not fair,” he said. “People at the bottom and the middle are paying more than their fair share of taxes, while people at the top are not paying their fair share.”

Right now, Michigan’s income tax is a flat rate of 4.25%. Townsend says a graduated tax would mean about $700 million a year in additional revenue for the state.

Republicans say Michigan’s current flat rate system is fair to all taxpayers regardless of how much money they make.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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