Tax Freedom Day is the day that taxpayers finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year. This year, Michigan taxpayers are working until April 14th to satisfy their tax burden. The residents of other states are working, on average, until April 18th to pay off their total tax bill to federal, state and local governments.
Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) offered the following comments Friday on Tax Freedom Day:
“This year Tax Freedom Day comes at a time when some in Lansing are advocating tax hikes to pay for increased road funding. But those tax hikes would come at the expense of taxpayers, who would be asked to shell out even more of their hard-earned pay. I believe that Michigan’s residents are taxed enough already. We need to reevaluate how we spend your money. Quite frankly, it is a matter of priorities.
“When families sit around the kitchen table to balance household budgets, the first option discussed is rarely to ask bosses for more money. Rather, family members typically start with a review of what they are spending money on and cut back on lower priority expenses until ends meet.
“Government could learn a lot from families. That is why I am proud to co-sponsor Senator Gretchen Whitmer’s [D- East Lansing] resolution to promote Money Smart Week on April 20-27. The closer that we reflect family accounting practices in our government budget process, the better off we will all be. I believe that we can use this approach to find ways to fund our top priorities without raising taxes.
“My colleagues and I have been actively promoting more openness and transparency in state government in order to better understand how every tax dollar is spent and where we can find efficiencies and savings. Last year, this effort culminated in legislation I sponsored being signed into law. My legislation, PA 536 of 2012, along with companion legislation, PA 535 of 2012, by Senator Tonya Schuitmaker [R-Lawton] requires greater transparency and accountability from state government and will provide all of our residents, including lawmakers, with additional information online about how taxpayer dollars are being spent.
“This is a great first step. The next step is using the information collected to help us manage our spending priorities and reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending. By outlining our spending priorities we can better evaluate if there is even a need to raise taxes.
“I applaud the efforts of fiscally responsible Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, fellow Tea Party members, and fellow Republicans within Michigan and nationwide who are working hard to reduce the tax burden on our residents. I pledge to continue my truly tireless efforts toward this end.”