Lewis to introduce legislation to eliminate non-homestead property tax on “day one”
September 17, 2012 By Campaign Staff Leave a Comment
For Immediate release
Lewis says time to stop penalizing Michiganders’ hard work, elimination of non-homestead tax and campaign finance reform the “good start that voters want”
Genoa Twp., Mich.—The office of 42nd House District candidate, James Lewis, announced today that Lewis will introduce two bills “on Day One:” one bill that will eliminate the state’s non-homestead property tax, and a second that will dramatically reform campaign finance law. The campaign says both are based largely on consistent voter feedback that they have received through remaining engaged the voters.
Eliminating non-homestead property tax on single unit and vacant land properties has been a platform issue since the first day of his campaign. Lewis says Michiganders are “penalized for their hard work,” paying on average 40% and up to 60% in additional tax on non-homestead properties including investment properties, summer cottages, hunting camps and vacation properties.
Lewis says lawmakers from the other major parties play a “shell game” with the taxes. He says Republicans and Democrat are “addicted to taxes” and cannot find a way out of their addiction, but he has sound starting point solution.
“Michigan has a massive surplus of unsold and foreclosed properties. Eliminating the non-homestead property tax will encourage investment, from Michigan residents and out-of-staters, and create jobs. These investors will do something positive with the unacceptable amount of vacant homes and properties,” Lewis says, adding that Michigan jobs will be created and Michiganders will have more money in their pockets to spend.
“From the local hardware store to skilled trades-people to decorators to maintenance companies and many, many more, we will benefit from the increased investment from the elimination of this tax. And Michiganders who invest in their little piece of ‘Pure Michigan,’ their place to ‘get-away,’ will no longer be penalized for investing in Michigan via this ridiculous state tax-grab. Renters will also benefit from lower cost of leases,” Lewis says.
Lewis says it is not a total elimination of the tax but places state non-homestead and homestead property tax on par with each other. He says the next step will be eliminating state property taxes altogether.
“Lansing has become so addicted to taxes that they will have to be ‘weaned off’ of the addiction and learn to live within its means. Lansing will have to learn to stop abusing Michigander’s wallets and learn that there are other ways to grow and maintain a healthy economy,” Lewis says.
Another bill the Lewis camp has been working on is campaign finance reform. While there has been headway in the realm of keeping politicians accountable, Lewis campaign manager Steve Mace says current regulations on campaign finance “don’t go far enough.”
Mace says they frequently hear voters say ‘we don’t trust politicians.’ Any lawmaker or candidate who claims to have never heard this before is either not listening or flat out lying,” Mace added. Mace says people are disgusted by what is on the surface; they need to take note of what is underneath.
“Currently, lawmakers have an ability to sweep messes out of sight with “feel good” legislation that makes voters feel that action is being taken, without actually solving the problem. Past campaign finance reform legislation is no exception,” Mace says.
Mace points to the Secretary of State Website’s campaign finance disclosure page where voters can look up donations made to incumbents and candidates. He asks why lawmakers are taking large amounts of donations from special interest groups, outside of the election cycle.
“Sadly the door remains wide open to the potential for pay-to-play in Lansing. Mr. Lewis will introduce legislation prohibiting state lawmakers from accepting campaign contributions outside of a pre-determined election time period. This will serve two purposes; first it will remove the temptation for lawmakers to vote a certain way on legislation based on financial gain, from committee level to the House and Senate floors,” Mace explains.
“Second and most important, lawmakers will have more time to focus on the job they are elected to do, and less time on their next election,” Mace says.
Lewis says the moment after he is sworn in and takes his oath to uphold the Constitution, he will immediately head downstairs from the House floor to the House Clerk’s office and file both bills.