In Michigan
6:27 pm
Thu November 12, 2009

Lieut. Gov. Cherry says tax reform may have to go to ballot

LANSING, MI –
Lieutenant Governor John Cherry says Michigan needs to reform its tax structure, but that may require the public to vote on changes to business, sales, or income taxes. Cherry says there don't appear to be votes in the Legislature for any type of tax reform.

A study by the Pew Center on the States says Michigan's tax system is obsolete and can't pay the costs of government. Lieutenant Governor John Cherry says he agrees, but says lawmakers don't seem up to tackling the job. He says business or education groups might be able to step into the vacuum with some ideas to put before voters next year.

Cherry says neither he nor Governor Granholm is likely to lead a ballot drive. He says the best thing politicians might be able to do is stay out of the way.

"People are not happy with the capacity of state government to solve problems right now," he says.

Cherry is a former legislator who is expected to run for governor next year.

Governor Granholm said last week that she thinks a ballot drive may be the only way to create a tax structure that ensures stable funding for schools and other government services.