Detroit Regional Chamber Does Not Support Tax Increases to Balance the Budget

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DETROIT, September 3, 2009 – The Detroit Regional Chamber supports short, medium, and long-term government reforms as a solution to the State of Michigan’s budget crisis. Budget solutions that would raise taxes create further long-term problems for businesses and individuals to solve a short term crisis.

The chamber applauds Governor Granholm for utilizing her executive authority to step-up parole for prisoners serving past their earliest release date. We also commend Speaker Dillon for his thoughtful approach to public employee healthcare. Collectively, we support the Senate Republicans and Majority Leader Mike Bishop for passing a budget that didn’t increase taxes.

“In 2007, the legislature and Governor forced taxpayers to accept tax increases to pay for the status quo,” said Sarah Hubbard, senior vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We then called on the Governor and Legislature to take action on real medium and long term structural reform that could have saved the state from much of our current financial problems.” Hubbard continued, it isn’t appropriate for state government to come back and ask tax payers to bail them out from their own inaction.”

In 2008 the chamber proposed a seven point plan to save hundreds of millions of dollars from the Department of Corrections by right sizing the prison population, and increasing administrative efficiency within the Department. The Detroit Regional Chamber also joined other business groups and the Center for Michigan in supporting $1.5 billion in structural reforms.

“Leadership in the Legislature and the Governor’s office should be having a frank conversation about the appropriate functions of State Government and how to pay for it,” stated Richard E. Blouse, Jr., president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We strongly encourage all parties to continue productive discussions that will result in a balanced budget that doesn’t ask more of taxpayers and includes statutory changes that will result in real, long-term, structural reform that will help our state and revitalize Michigan for the future.”

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

With over 20,000 members, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is the largest chamber of commerce in the country. The chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships, valuable benefits and quality products and services to members. For more information please visit, detroitchamber.com.

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