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Recall 1983 - Learn More
House District 72
(Click for full district map)

Candidates:
Justin Amash
District 72 – Kentwood
Republican
Linda Steil
District 72 – Grand Rapids
Republican
Ken Yonker
District 72 – Caledonia
Republican
Albert S. Abbasse
District 72 – Byron Center
Democrat
Timothy S. Cyrus
District 72 – Grand Rapids
Republican
David Elias
District 72 – Kentwood
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?

Justin Amash: a. Shut down government   b. Raise taxes
Linda Steil:   a. Shut down government     b. Raise taxes
Ken Yonker: a. Shut down government    b. Raise taxes
Albert S. Abbasse: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Timothy S. Cyrus: Did not respond to questionnaire  
David Elias: 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?
Justin Amash: a. Yes  b. No
Linda Steil:   a. Yes   b. No
Ken Yonker: a. Yes b. No
Albert S. Abbasse: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Timothy S. Cyrus: Did not respond to questionnaire  
David Elias: 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?
Justin Amash: a. Flat tax b. Graduated tax
Linda Steil:   a. Flat tax   b. Graduated tax
Ken Yonker: a. Flat tax b. Graduated tax
Albert S. Abbasse: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Timothy S. Cyrus: Did not respond to questionnaire  
David Elias: 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?
Justin Amash: a. Support such amendment b. Oppose such amendment
Linda Steil:   a. Support such amendment b. Oppose such amendment
Ken Yonker: a. Support such amendment b. Oppose such amendment
Albert S. Abbasse: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Timothy S. Cyrus: Did not respond to questionnaire  
David Elias: 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?
Justin Amash: a. Increase fuel tax for road improvements b. Oppose fuel tax increase
Linda Steil:   a. Increase fuel tax for road improvements b. Oppose fuel tax increase
Ken Yonker: a. Increase fuel tax for road improvements b. Oppose fuel tax increase
Albert S. Abbasse: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Timothy S. Cyrus: Did not respond to questionnaire  
David Elias: 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?
Justin Amash: a. Would sign tax pledge b. Would not sign pledge
Linda Steil:   a. Would sign tax pledge b. Would not sign pledge
Ken Yonker: a. Would sign tax pledge b. Would not sign pledge
Albert S. Abbasse: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Timothy S. Cyrus: Did not respond to questionnaire  
David Elias: Did not respond to questionnaire  
Q7. Additional comments regarding taxes, spending or your candidacy:
Justin Amash: None.
Linda Steil:   None.
Ken Yonker: I am a business man of 23 years. I will not tolerate a tax increase at this time. What I have learned over the past 23 years of business is that there is no such word as never. In business you adjust to the situations that come before you every day, and you learn that you have to e as many options as possible. I believe government has a responsibility to restore their overhead costs and bring accountability to all levels of government while being as efficient as as possible.
Albert S. Abbasse: Did not respond to questionnaire
Timothy S. Cyrus: Did not respond to questionnaire
David Elias: Did not respond to questionnaire
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