Majority of Michigan Residents Support Move to Graduated Income Tax, According to Wayne State University Survey

Oct 08, 2010, 16:48 ET from Wayne State University

DETROIT, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A survey released today by Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies reveals that nearly two-thirds of Michigan adults (64.3 percent) favor shifting away from the state's current flat income tax to a graduated income tax plan. In contrast, just under a third (32.6 percent) support raising Michigan's current flat income tax rate. No other potential revenue-generating approaches garnered majority support.

Lyke Thompson, director of Wayne State's Center for Urban Studies and political science professor, led the study.

"These findings definitively show that Michigan residents want a thoughtful governor – one who can balance selective cost-cutting measures with prudent tax increases," Thompson said. "They are particularly telling when put in the context of Michigan's upcoming gubernatorial election and the economic platforms expressed by the Democratic and Republican candidates."

Additional findings show:

  • More than two-thirds of Michigan residents surveyed (67.3%) want the state budget balanced using spending cuts coupled with tax and fee increases.
  • Only about a fourth (26.2%) want Michigan's budget balanced via spending cuts alone.
  • Michigan residents are almost equally likely to oppose spending cuts (24.7%) as they are to support the use of spending cuts alone to balance the budget (26.2%).

When asked what areas of Michigan's budget they want to see cut, the majority of residents oppose budget cuts to public services. Three-fourths of residents opposed spending cuts to K-12 education (75.6%), about two-thirds were opposed to funding cuts affecting road maintenance and construction (64.1%), mental health services (63.6%), or higher education (63.6%). Slightly smaller majorities opposed cuts to Medicaid services (60.9%), public safety and corrections (58.9%), and economic development (58.5%). In contrast, less than half of those surveyed were opposed to budget cuts affecting public assistance (45.9%).

Wayne State's Center for Urban Studies aims to provide innovative responses to urban challenges and opportunities. Committed to serving Detroit and its metropolitan area, the Center conducts and disseminates research, develops policies and programs and provides training, capacity-building and technical assistance.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.

SOURCE Wayne State University