Vote "No!" on SB653, the "Arts and History Authorities" Tax

We value our history and support the arts. The question is how we should fund these institutions. Rather than directly tax homeowners and business owners for non-essential services, these arts and cultural centers should be funded with user entrance fees, donations, and available governmental grants. Museum directors receiving millions in annual tax transfers will lose their desire to provide the best services and customer satisfaction over time.

Text of Petition

Senate Bill 653 is clearly part of an ongoing plan to have other counties near Detroit pay for City of Detroit services. This tax is not to improve roads, stop the flooding sewers caused by rain, or clean the water in our state. No, this is to tax my property to overfund two museums in Detroit.

This bill was written by special interests to benefit just two City of Detroit institutions. But every property owner in Wayne and Oakland counties will pay the 0.4 mill increase for up to 20 years.

According to IRS990 forms, the Charles H. Wright Museum already takes in $6.2 million annually. This tax will provide them with an additional $25 million, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit Historical Society, which recently had $3.7 million in revenue, would receive up to $17 million more per year, according to The Free Press.
Worse, taxpayers won't see how funds are spent because Freedom of Information laws do not apply to non-governmental units.

Democrats introduced this bill, but Republicans in the Economic and Small Business Development Committee also approved this awful legislation and sent it to the full Senate for approval. Republicans used to stand against unwarranted tax hikes. Unfortunately, some have lost their way.

Please stop this bill now. Talk to your fellow Senators and end this giveaway. End the corruption of the lobbyists pushing for this bill. Thank you.

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