Proposal 5--too good to be true

Proponents of Proposal 5 are trying to push a rosy story about their constitutional amendment, which would require a 2/3 supermajority of the House and the Senate or a statewide vote of the people in order to raise taxes.  While that would make it harder to raise taxes, it would also allow for a minority of lawmakers to block needed funding for schools and public safety, while protecting the latest round of corporate special interest tax breaks.

 Don’t be fooled!

 Proposal 5 is a dangerous proposition for Michigan’s economy. If voters approve Proposal 5, as few as 13 Senators could block legislation that every other legislator and the governor supported. This proposal puts total power in the hands of a few lawmakers and their corporate donors to protect their interests and block what the majority of Michigan wants and needs.

Only seven states have this provision in their constitutions. Mississippi has it and it’s one of the poorest states in the country. Nevada has it and it has the country’s highest unemployment rate. California has it and it’s always missing its constitutional deadline to balance the state budget.

And if voters approve Proposal 5 here in Michigan, we’re in for a future of more partisan politics, locked in tax cuts for corporate CEOs, and more cuts to education, health care, public safety and other necessary services.           

Financially, Proposal 5 would block any attempt to modernize the tax system and deal with any state financial emergencies. It would lower our credit rating, allow out-of-state companies to continue receiving tax breaks and create a shortfall in Medicaid. Lawmakers wouldn’t be able to make any changes for the better in the fuel tax, sales tax or state income tax. That means few, if any road repairs; online retailers would still avoid the state’s 6 percent sales tax; and locally-controlled property taxes would go up to make up the difference.

 K-12 and higher education funding increases would be nearly impossible. Especially in light of the massive education cuts last year, we would doom ourselves to larger class sizes, fewer programs, higher college tuitions and layoffs. 

The proposal is funded and supported by one Michigan billionaire – Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun -- who bought petition signatures and is supported by Washington lobbyists and other extreme political supporters looking to control the Legislature. Their goal is to protect tax policies that benefit them at the expense of our future economy and taxpayers. There are too many times when partisan politics and extreme agendas have controlled legislative action here in Michigan. Proposal 5 would make the situation worse. 

Proposal 5 is an attack on our democracy, putting power in the hands of a few. MEA recommends a NO vote on this proposal. Because by voting NO on Proposal 5, you keep special interests out of Michigan’s constitution.

Don’t’ be fooled. Proposal 5 looks too good to be true and it is.  Learn more at