Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Cam Cavitt condemns unsustainable state budget: “Irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars by Lansing Democrats”
RELEASE|July 31, 2023
Contact: Cam Cavitt

State Rep. Cam Cavitt on Monday reiterated his opposition to Democrats’ wasteful, unsustainable budget funded by a tax hike — a budget that fails to invest in the priorities of Michigan families.

The Democrats’ $82 billion budget, signed into law Monday, will require an income tax hike to pay for everything. Cavitt, R-Cheboygan, criticized Democrats for unsustainably spending more money than ever before, draining the rest of Michigan’s $9 billion surplus, adding 1,000 new bureaucrats, and bankrolling billions of dollars in pork projects and waste, all while failing to invest Michigan’s resources to fix crumbling local roads and fill officer vacancies at struggling local police departments.

The budget can only be balanced if the new 4.05% income tax rate is raised back to 4.25% next year. The tax hike has been incorporated into the bloated spending plan after Cavitt and House Republicans fought to guarantee a tax reduction earlier this year.

“This budget raises taxes, and puts taxpayers on the hook for far too many partisan projects and giveaways,” Cavitt said. “This out-of-touch spending works to satisfy a national, political agenda rather than address the true needs of Michigan residents.”

Failing Michigan students: The $24.3 billion portion of the budget related to schools, universities, and community colleges, which became law earlier this month, puts pork projects over the needs of Michigan students. Democrats added $2 billion for pork and wasteful programs into the school budget alone — funds that could have provided nearly $1,400 more per student to support classroom learning across the state. They also eliminated dedicated funding for school resource officers who keep kids safe at school.

Hiking taxes and fees: Legislative Democrats baked a future tax hike into their bloated spending plan. House Republicans secured an income tax cut for every Michigander and small business this spring, but the Democrats will need the new 4.05% income tax rate to go up again to 4.25% next year in order to balance their budget. The Democrat attorney general in March disregarded the clear language, history, and legislative intent of the law and declared that the tax cut should only last for one year, an assumption Democrats used to write their massive budget. The budget also raises fees on Michigan small businesses to pay for new bureaucrats to investigate those small businesses.

Neglecting broken infrastructure: The budget distributes no new funding for local road agencies to repair failing infrastructure. Rejecting the Republican proposal for a $1 billion investment in local roads, Democrats only hand-picked a select few favored projects. Cavitt also criticized a glaring lack of investment to fix Michigan’s bridges that are either closed or in serious or critical condition, as the budget provided only 5% of the total needed. At the same time, Democrats handed out more than $2 billion to their political friends and allies for solar farms, zoos, opera houses, and other pork projects.

Ignoring police shortages: The budget also fails to invest in understaffed local police departments experiencing a widespread officer shortage. Democrats rejected Republican amendments to provide $100 million in grants to help local police departments and county sheriff’s offices recruit and retain officers and obtain equipment. Instead, they spent more than $100 million on “community enhancement grants” to help their friends fund pork projects like pools, splash pads, theaters, and a cricket field. The budget also creates a $1.5 million program to hire unarmed social workers instead of the officers who are needed to protect communities.

Bankrolling pork projects: Democrats spend more than $2 billion on earmarks. Examples of unnecessary pork projects include $5 million to the AFL-CIO, one of the Democrats’ powerful union allies; $3 million for minor league baseball stadiums; $9.8 million for seven pools and splash pads; almost $1 million for a cricket field; and $1 million to teach rich children in Detroit to ride horses.

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