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Unions launch corporate income tax petition drive

Massive pothole in the middle of a two-lane road.

A group of unions has launched a petition drive to double Michigan’s corporate income tax and use the additional revenue for roads.

Union leader Tom Lutz is with the Citizens for Fair Taxes Campaign. He says corporations should have to give back about half the net tax reductions that resulted from the state’s 2011 business tax overhaul.

“Corporations profit from our roads and they should help pay for them,” he said. “Michigan seniors and middle-class families should not be shouldering all of the burden so wealthy corporations can pay less while our roads crumble. That’s wrong.”

The campaign now has 180 days to gather more than 250 thousands signatures. The campaign also announced it’s raised more than a million dollars to back the petition drive.

If the drive gathers enough signatures, the question on increasing the corporate income tax from 6 percent to 11 percent would go to the Legislature. If lawmakers don’t approve it, the question would go on the 2016 ballot.

Business groups say the tax overhaul helped make Michigan more competitive. They’re asking voters to refuse to sign the petitions.

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