AG: Michigan taxpayers deserve a massive tax refund

Chris Rizo Jan. 26, 2009, 4:32pm

Mike Cox (R)

LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline)-Michigan taxpayers deserve a $712 million refund, says state Attorney General Mike Cox.

The Republican attorney general wrote in an op-ed late last week that state government brought in an extra $712 million in revenue in 2008, and had a $350 million surplus the year before.

Meanwhile, 15 months ago, he noted, taxpayers and businesses in the Wolverine State were "punished" with a $1.4 billion in new taxes even though revenues to the state keep pouring into Lansing.

"Just think: That $712 million surplus means Michigan created the most notorious business tax in the nation, gouged workers and job creators, and badly damaged our reputation with companies looking to expand or relocate, all for no reason," Cox wrote in the op-ed published in the Detroit News.

Cox, who has formed an exploratory committee for a gubernatorial run in 2010, said taxpayers deserve to be paid back the extra money the state raked in over the past two years.

"Taxpayers deserve a refund," he wrote. "And not some partial, half-baked scheme. Michigan workers and families deserve to have the full $700 million surplus refunded to them."

In his column Thursday, the attorney general called for an overhaul of how the state does business-from its spending habits to how it raises money.

"I find it ironic that so many of the people who were involved in hiking Michigan's business and personal income taxes are the same ones clamoring for reform of our tax system," he snipped. "It is sort of like former Detroit Lions President Matt Millen being chosen as head of the committee to select the new Lions head coach. It just doesn't pass the smell test."

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