New Law Could Drastically Change Property Taxes

Some Michigan lawmakers are doing their best to reduce the significant burden that homeowners and business owners face with regard to property taxes in the state.

A new proposal, called AxMiTax, has been put forth by Karla Wagner, a small business owner and real estate agent. She told Newsweek recently that she wants property taxes to be eliminated in Michigan “because people can’t afford them anymore.”

She commented:

“With the high cost of living and everything else that has gone up, we are losing way too many homes, farms and businesses in Michigan. People are leaving Michigan because of the high cost of living here. …

“If there was no property tax, rent would be more affordable because the landlord wouldn’t be paying property taxes,” savings they could then pass onto residents, she said.

Wagner is pushing forward with her proposal, which she hopes will appear on the ballot in November in the state.

She told local news outlet 7 Action News that she would be in favor of keeping taxes in place for road services, firefighters and police, but would want all other taxes to be dropped.

She pointed out that she personally is unwilling to pay taxes for library services, for example, because she doesn’t use the library herself. She added that she thinks taxpayers only should have to shell out money for services they actually use.

As she explained:

“I’m all about community welfare and this and that, but not at the expense of someone losing their home because they’re paying for a library service for someone else.”

Property taxes are used all across the country to fund services for residents. This includes things such police, fire and other emergency personnel, to library services, to public school systems.

While Michigan homeowners and businesses would certainly love to not have to pay property taxes, the question would be what would happen to all these services if the taxes went away.

SmartAsset, a financial advice company, reports that Michigan’s property tax rate is among the highest in the U.S. It currently stands at 1.32%, compared to the 0.99% national average.

Property tax rates can also vary from one county to the next.

To try to get the issue on November’s ballot, Wagner started the AxMiTax organization. She must now get enough signatures from supporters for the issue to officially be put up for a vote.

While speaking last July at a South County Republican club meeting, Wagner said her primary goal is “to keep people in their homes.”

As she said:

“We are trying to eliminate the state, county and township’s ability to seize our properties through taxes.”

The organization has posted on its official website:

“Government never wants to lose a revenue source. They say they need the money but it’s time all these entities (government and schools) become fiscally responsible. By eliminating property taxes we not only regain true property ownership but give each citizen the ability to reevaluate how their money is being spent.”