Graduated Income Tax in Michigan

The Issue:

Recent legislative proposals would strip Michigan’s long-standing protection against imposing a Graduated Income Tax and would result in a $870 million increase, according to the proponents.

A Graduated Income tax would need a Constitutional Amendment that requires a 2/3 Majority vote of both the Michigan House and Senate to get placed on the ballot for voters. While it is true that generally pro-business Republicans control the Michigan House and Senate, nothing would prevent House and Senate Democrats from either relentlessly pushing this idea in the House and Senate, or from prompting progressive grassroots organizations to place this bad idea on a Michigan Ballot. 

In the recent past we’ve seen bills with these types of astronomical rates and parameters: 

  • Proposed RATES for a graduated income tax.
    • Rates range from 3% for those making $20,000 or less to 10% for those making $1M or more.
    • 3%, 4%, 5% and so on up to 10%.
  • Limits the personal exemption for many individuals and families.
  • Eliminates the personal exemption altogether for those making over $80,000 ($160,000 jointly.)

Where We Stand:

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is strongly opposed to proposals to impose a massive tax increase on families, entrepreneurs, and job providers by eliminating Michigan’s long-standing taxpayer protection against a graduated income tax. This sends a clear message about the direction that Michigan Democrats want the State to go: immediate and blatant redistribution of wealth that punishes individuals and job providers for being successful.

Voters rejected this idea three times already since the last re-write of the State Constitution in 1963; in each 1968, 1972, and 1976 the proposals went down to significant defeat. Taxpayers should again immediately speak out against this type of “class-warfare” legislation and ask their Legislator to openly object to anti-taxpayer, anti-business proposals like this.

Legislative Priority:

Make Michigan’s Tax Climate the Best in the Country

Staff Contact: 
Dan Papineau
Director of Tax Policy
(517) 371-7669
Legislative Proposals: