I will be interviewing Democrat State Rep. Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak, who's the ranking Democrat of the House Tax Policy Committee, representing the 26th District on Thursday, July 16 in the second hour of my show. We will be discussing his ideas about reforming Michigan’s State income tax system.

Rep. Townsend believes the wealthiest 1% of Michigan citizens pay far less than the rest of us, and he believes that is unfair.

Rep. Townsend wrote an opinion piece in the Detroit News in which he stated when taking property taxes, sales tax, and “excise” taxes like the fuel tax and the income tax, “the bottom 80 percent of families, those making $88,000 a year or less, contribute 9.2 to 9.5 percent of their income, while the wealthiest 1 percent contribute only 5.9 percent.”

He states Michigan sales tax hurts low-income families 6 times as hard as the top 1%.

So why not lower Michigan’s sales tax?

Under his plan titled "Tax Equality," we can “equalize” the tax burden by instituting a graduated income tax system where higher income taxpayers will pay a higher state tax rate then lower income taxpayers in Michigan.

Under his plan, as explained in his Detroit News opinion piece:

  • a family of four making less than $176,000 would receive a tax cut that would reach as high as $600 per year for middle-income families.
  • Over 4.4 million filers would receive a $830 million tax cut to increase demand, stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
  • 89 percent of small business owners would receive a tax cut

Currently thirty three states as well as the federal government have a graduated income tax.

Do you think this is a “fairer” plan?

What questions would you ask him if you could about his plan? Email me and I will ask him.

He is not counting the total dollars paid by taxpayers in certain classes, but looking only at percentage of income, is that “fair”?

Please join me for this interview tomorrow (Thursday) on my show The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.