The League of Women Voters of Michigan recently completed a project called Michigan Is Ours! that documents the loss of state dollars to fund public services over the last 10 years, in part due to tax policies that reduce taxes. The group is advocating for a reversal of this trend.
In its background information, the League of Women Voters cites the negative consequences to state services because of the dramatic decline in state revenues, including:
- the reduction in state workforce– 18 percent, over the last seven years.
- the dramatic decline in public safety funding– $3 billion, since September 11, 2001.
- the astonishing decline in state investments in higher education.
The group’s members believe that the “T” word is not a terrible word, but is a necessary word if we are going to have quality public services. They further believe voters are concerned about such services as education, public safety, social services, health care, employment services, safe food and water, parks, libraries, and roads, and are willing to pay for them.
As part of this project, the League of Women Voters has created a series of postcards on specific public services to be sent to legislators. These postcards have a simple message: they affirm the voter’s support for a specific public service and further affirm the voter’s willingness to pay more taxes to support it. They encourage legislators to pursue tax changes to increase state revenues to support these essential public services.
The Michigan League for Human Services also advocates for tax policy changes to increase state revenues to support key public services. Numerous options are available to policymakers. Please see our Facts Matter report for more information.
If you think a change in direction is in order, and support public services, including adequate taxes to pay for them, let your legislators know. You can contact Jackie Benson at the Michigan League for Human Services, Jbenson@michleagueforhumansvs.org, for a supply of postcards.
Thanks to the League of Women Voters for creating such an easy way for us to communicate our priorities and willingness to pay more taxes for public services to our legislators.
— Jan Hudson