Letter: Corporations should pay ‘fair share’


Lt. Gov. Brian Calley recently came out against a citizens-initiated proposal that would require corporations to pay their fair share to help fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges so middle-class families don’t continue to bear all the costs (Re: “Calley: Michigan can’t afford a return to ‘lost decade,’ ” Sept. 10).

The basis of his opposition was more of the same corporate fear mongering since we launched this campaign. Calley and others say requiring corporations to pay their fair share will return us to the “lost decade.” Funny that he doesn’t seem to mind raising taxes on Michigan families.

Let’s make something perfectly clear: Corporations paying their fair share will not plunge Michigan into another recession, like Calley claims. What it will do is draw much-needed investment to Michigan’s broken infrastructure without raising taxes on Michigan’s families and seniors.

What we’re proposing is to recoup about $900 million, less than half of the $2 billion in tax cuts corporations unfairly received in 2011, and put those resources directly to Michigan’s roads and bridges. They keep the other half.

Remember, middle-class and working Michiganders and retirees paid for those unfair corporate breaks when they were hit with a $1.6 billion tax increase. It’s simply wrong to ask Michigan families to pay again and again, while corporations get one break after another.

Since that massive tax shift occurred in 2011, Michigan families pay over 20 times what corporations contribute and 95,000 businesses no longer pay any business tax at all. No wonder our roads and bridges in this state are so bad.

There’s no justice in that and Michigan cannot move forward when Michigan families continue to struggle while elected leaders like Calley allow corporations to get away with not paying their fair share.

The only proposed solutions we’ve seen come out of Lansing to fix our roads are more of the same: increase taxes on families and cut funding to the services they need. That’s wrong and that’s why we’re fighting for a fair fix.

Right now, corporations are getting away with paying practically nothing for doing business in Michigan. They’re not paying their fair share like Michigan citizens are — in reality, they are paying more than their fair share — while corporations rake in record profits.

We need a straightforward, fair fix to Michigan’s road problem. We need a solution that won’t ask families, workers and seniors to do all the heavy lifting.

Tom Lutz, spokesman

Citizens for Fair Taxes