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Recall 1983 - Learn More
House District 37
(Click for full district map)

Candidates:
Richard Lerner
District 37 – Farmington
Republican
Paul Welday
District 37 – Farmington Hills
Republican
Vicki Barnett
District 37 – Farmington Hills
Democrat
Michale A. Peters
District 37 – Farmington Hills
Republican
   

Michigan Taxpayers Alliance 2008 Candidate Questionnaire

*Answers in Bold.

Q1. Last year, Governor Granholm and the state legislature increased the state income tax by 12% and increased the state’s main business tax by 22%. These tax increases allowed the state to increase state spending to a record $43.3 billion.

Governor Granholm and lawmakers supporting these tax hikes said that the tax increases were needed to protect critical programs and invest in future growth. A few lawmakers opposed the tax hikes in principle, but voted for them to avoid a budget impasse and a state government shutdown.

If you had to vote today, and the choice were to increase state taxes or watch state government experience a temporary shutdown, how would you vote?

Richard Lerner: a. Shut down government   b. Raise taxes
Paul Welday:   a. Shut down government   b. Raise taxes
Vicki Barnett: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Michale A. Peters: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Q2. State of Michigan employees are the sixth highest paid in the country. Would you support freezing or cutting state government employee salaries or benefits to balance the budget?
Richard Lerner: a. Yes  
Paul Welday:   a. Yes  b. No
Vicki Barnett: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Michale A. Peters: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Q3. Michigan’s state income tax is a flat 4.35%. Some advocate for a graduated income tax, where higher income citizens pay a higher percent of their income to the state. Do you support a “flat” income tax, where everyone pays the same percent, or a graduated income tax?
Richard Lerner: a. Flat tax b. Graduated tax
Paul Welday:   a. Flat tax b. Graduated tax
Vicki Barnett: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Michale A. Peters: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Q4. Under 1993’s Proposal A property tax reform, homeowners’ annual property tax increases are capped at the rate of inflation or 5% (whichever is less) as long as homeowners stay living in their same home. One increasingly common complaint about Proposal A is that the capped property tax increase can occur even if a home declines in value. Would you support amending Proposal A to prohibit a homeowners’ taxes from increasing if their home has lost value, even if such an amendment would result in less government revenue?
Richard Lerner: a. Support such amendment b. Oppose such amendment
Paul Welday:   a. Support such amendment b. Oppose such amendment
Vicki Barnett: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Michale A. Peters: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Q5. Repairs and improvements to Michigan’s roads are funded primarily though a tax on gasoline. Some believe that the deteriorating condition of the roads justifies increasing the state’s 36 cents per gallon gas tax, which they argue is a ‘user fee’ for motorists. Other people believe that the state’s 6% sales tax on gasoline, which currently funds education and other state spending, should be dedicated exclusively to road improvements. Do you believe Michigan should increase fuel taxes to fund road improvements/repairs?
Richard Lerner: a. Increase fuel tax for road improvements b. Oppose fuel tax increase
Paul Welday:   a. Increase fuel tax for road improvements b. Oppose fuel tax increase
Vicki Barnett: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Michale A. Peters: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Q6. Some candidates have been very outspoken and firm in their opposition to increasing state taxes. They have make public, written promises in the form of a pledge against raising taxes. The best known pledge against tax increases is distributed by a national taxpayer organization called Americans for Tax Reform. That pledge allows for revenue-neutral tax shifts and increases in legitimate user fees. Detailed information about the ATR pledge can be found at www.atr.org. Would you be willing to sign a pledge to the voters of the district that you seek to represent that you will not vote to raise taxes if you are elected?
Richard Lerner: a. Would sign tax pledge b. Would not sign pledge
Paul Welday:   a. Would sign tax pledge b. Would not sign pledge
Vicki Barnett: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Michale A. Peters: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Q7. Additional comments regarding taxes, spending or your candidacy:
Richard Lerner: Less taxes, Less spending, Less government
Paul Welday:   Reducing the size and cost of state government and creating a tax system that spurs, rather than discourages, economic development is the essence of my candidacy. I would greatly appreciate your active support.
Vicki Barnett: Did not respond to questionnaire
Michale A. Peters: Did not respond to questionnaire
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