To the Journal editor:
In the decade and a half since Proposal A became law, it has made Michigan real estate toxic. Why? Because this law, which allows property taxes to be uncapped and rise into the stratosphere when parcels change hands, serves as a major disincentive to buy property in the state.
Michigan, as we know, is the lone state in the nation in the throes of a population decline. Certainly many factors weigh on this demographic shift, but Proposal A has to be included among those negatively influencing it.
Voted into law as a new source for school funding, Proposal A has turned into a nightmare for property buyers and sellers alike. Why invest in Michigan property when you are inviting a huge new levy on your income?
This law is inherently unfair as it forces new property owners to heavily subsidize taxes of long-time owners. Tax parity? Absolutely not under Proposal A.
Yes, schools need to be adequately funded. But not on the backs of new property owners. This burden needs to be shared equitably across the board by all property owners. Proposal A flies in the face of this worthy objective. It most deservedly should be repealed.
Keep this law and be assured that The Associated Press article of last year that pointed to a slow, steady demise for the Upper Peninsula will indeed come true. That scenario certainly could play out for the rest of the state as well.
Why continue along this path when repeal of the law could easily reverse the situation? The time has come to declare that this law has just not worked. Its continuance serves to the detriment of the state, not to its forward progress. The Legislature needs to take immediate action toward its repeal. If this body cannot find the where with all to do so, the courts need to explore its fairness and legitimacy.
I believe this law fails on both of these counts.