Friday, March 3, 2006

Oh boy

We just got a preview of the Grand Rapids City Commission's upcoming agenda. The resignation of Robert Dean from the commission created an opening which the commission needs to fill. Candidates were interviewed yesterday for the appointment.

The interesting thing is that Mayor Heartwell says that the second round of interviews for the three finalists will include more hard-hitting topics, such as:

He believes they will be asked about their stand on whether to ask voters for an increase in city property or income taxes.

He also expects they will be quizzed on whether they support a living wage ordinance that could raise minimum wages in the city.

Oh boy. In other words, the litmus test will likely be something along the lines of, "do you think city government should be bigger and more invasive?" The response of "yes" will work in the candidate's favor.

If both those issues pass in the city, get ready for making a bad economic situation even worse.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Time to Repeal SBT

L. Brooks Patterson, the executive of Oakland County, announced during his state of the county speech last month that he was initiating a fundraising drive to get a repeal of the Single Business Tax on the ballot in November.

It was announced today that he had raised enough money to begin the drive. The Detroit News has an article on it here. A web site on the ballot initiative has been set up at

This is great news. The SBT is the most onerous business tax in the nation. It is one reason why businesses will not locate here. The tax needs to be repealed, with nothing to replace it, in order to get businesses looking at our state again. We have the worst economy in the nation and one-off tax breaks and state speculative investments won't fix this long term, structural problem. It is one step in the direction of making Michigan attractive to business again.