melstav: (lego head)
[personal profile] melstav
If you're in Michigan, go to https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/mivote/ and look up the sample ballot for Tuesday's primary election.
I don't care so much if you don't take the time to research who's running for what office, especially since you can only vote for candidates registered under one party or the other (not both), but you probably ought to.
Researching and voting on the ballot proposals is even more important than voting for candidates in the individual races. Proposals that get put on primary ballots are worthy of extra skepticism and scrutiny because their proponents are typically counting on low voter turnout to make them easy to pass.
This go-round, there's only one proposal on the ballot at the state level, but there is likely to be at least one for your city and/or county.
The ballot text for State Proposal 1 looks reasonable enough on its face, especially if you're familiar with the history behind Michigan's statewide 6% sales tax (no city/county sales tax) and the revenue sharing agreements that the State reneged on to patch their own budget deficits. To me, it reads like it's intended to ensure that the cities get the share of the sales tax revenue that they're entitled to.
Except the text that is on the ballot really only addresses a small part of the effect that a "YES" vote will have. This question is a referendum on Public Act 80 of 2014 (1) which repeals the property tax that businesses pay on inventory, machinery, computers, etc. This property tax money goes to the cities, not the state. In exchange for repealing the property tax, the state legislature promises to reimburse the cities for their lost revenue by increasing their profit-sharing out of the sales tax.
If you vote "YES" on this question, you are saying that you agree that the business property tax should be phased out, and that you accept the State's promise to replace those taxes out of the money collected by the sales tax.
Both the text of Public Act 80 and the informational booklet produced by the State Senate (2) contain the text of the ballot question as it will appear on Tuesday.
(1) http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/publicact/pdf/2014-PA-0080.pdf
(2) http://senate.michigan.gov/sfa/Publications/BallotProps/Proposal14-1fold.pdf
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