Tax fairness, better wages and fully-funded community services will make Michigan a better place for both families and businesses
LANSING, Mich – A new coalition of over twenty community organizations, working people, and policy experts launched today, focused on building a better future for all Michiganders. The Fund MI Future coalition will work to ensure that Michigan creates a tax system that has corporations and the wealthy pay what they owe so that we can provide quality schools, good paying jobs, and access to clean and affordable drinking water for everyone no matter where you live or what you look like.
The coalition includes labor groups like the Michigan AFL-CIO and SEIU; environmental organizations like Michigan Blue-Green Alliance and Clean Water Action; education advocates like the Michigan Education Justice Coalition and 482 Forward; grassroots organizations like Mothering Justice and Faith in Action; and policy organizations like the Michigan League for Public Policy and Prosperity Michigan.
The launch of Fund MI Future comes at a crucial time. The legislature and Gov. Whitmer just finalized a landmark budget, but still left about $7 billion in general and School Aid Fund dollars on the table for future negotiations. The coalition is united in its position that the state needs to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in the state’s long standing unmet needs.
“Our goal is to leverage the policy and grassroots advocacy expertise of our organizations to collectively raise our voices to ensure we build a better future for every Michigander,” said Mary Brady-Enerson, Michigan director at Clean Water Action. “Michigan families and communities deserve opportunities to have good roads, strong schools, and clean water. Powerful corporations taking advantage of tax loopholes have held us back from having the funding we’ve needed to properly invest in our communities, and we finally have an opportunity to invest in those areas that have been neglected for too long.”
Even before the coalition’s official launch, Fund MI Future members have been working together to advocate for issues like closing tax loopholes that allow 60% of Michigan corporations to pay nothing in corporate income taxes. Fund MI Future leaders have also recently gone on record urging lawmakers to resist using the state’s temporary revenue surplus as an excuse to pass cuts that would take away long term funding for education, infrastructure improvements and other vital needs.
“We want to see Michigan become a state that is an attractive place for people of all walks of life to raise a family, get a job and start a business. The tax cuts that some conservative lawmakers are touting would permanently shortchange our communities of the critical resources we need to achieve that goal,” said Fund MI Future member Jess Newman who serves as Political Manager at United for Respect. “We already know wealthy corporations that have earned record profits during the pandemic are not paying what they owe in taxes. Too many lawmakers continue to focus on funding cuts that would make the problem even worse, especially at the expense of essential workers and families.”
Instead of tax cuts, Fund MI Future members are urging legislative leaders to advance policies that provide for all Michiganders. On the new www.FundMIFuture.org site, you will be able to contact elected officials directly, find resources about policy history and proposals, and join the larger movement.
“When someone asks why our roads are crumbling, our dams collapse, our highways flood every year and why our teachers spend thousands of dollars every year from their own pocket for supplies, we have the answer,” said Eileen Hayes, Director of Michigan Faith in Action and member of Fund MI Future. “We’ve been having those problems because we’ve allowed the wealthy elite to game the system and avoid paying what they owe in taxes. Clearly, that approach is failing the majority of the people in this state. By working together, the Fund MI Future coalition is uniting to ensure we invest in a shared prosperity for all.”
Fund MI Future, is a joint effort of community organizations, unions of working people, and policy experts to create shared prosperity for all Michiganders by fully and fairly funding our public services like schools, roads, and clean water. Learn more at www.FundMiFuture.org.