Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Harris: Tax hikes will stunt population growth
RELEASE|December 15, 2023
Contact: Mike Harris

State Rep. Mike Harris on Thursday reiterated his opposition to tax hikes on Michigan residents as the governor’s Growing Michigan Together Council called for proposals that will cost billions of dollars.

The council, which received $2 million in taxpayer funding to analyze Michigan’s population decline, failed to recommend how to pay for the various proposals in the final report it adopted Thursday morning. Harris, R-Waterford, said the tax hikes necessary to implement the council’s report would set back Michigan’s efforts to grow the state’s population and economy.

“As Michigan looks to grow our population, raising taxes on the very people we’re trying to attract isn’t the answer,” Harris said. “The population council didn’t come up with many new ideas, but the unoriginal and expensive programs it recommends come with a huge price tag for Michigan taxpayers. The council’s report admitted the obvious problems with our infrastructure, education, and business climate, problems that have gone ignored in recent years. This summer, the Legislature rejected Republican budget proposals to invest in local roads and other needs in Michigan communities, so after our surplus was wasted, we shouldn’t turn to tax hikes now. Hiking taxes will punish people and small businesses in Michigan and stunt our population growth.”

Among the population council’s recommendations is a proposal to “pilot talent retention and attraction incentives,” highlighting programs in other states and communities that provide direct incentives for people to move there. Harris has criticized the idea of relocation incentives, which have largely proven unsuccessful in other states and would be an inefficient use of resources.

This summer, Harris and his Republican colleagues proposed amendments to the $82 billion budget to invest the state’s $9 billion surplus wisely, such as a plan to invest $1 billion in local roads. The amendments were rejected.

Michigan ranks 49th in the nation for population growth since 1990, and the state’s population has decreased since 2020.

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