Sen. Patrick Colbeck took the gloves off and pounded Brian Calley at the latest town hall in Escanaba. When asked about taxes, Calley tried to say he was a tax cutter. Well, Colbeck wasn’t having any of it.
Calley answered “While it hasn’t been the income tax rate itself that doesn’t mean that taxes haven’t been cut”. Colbeck countered, “All the tax cuts that we have done to date…they’ve been pushed by special interests.…these are all lobbyist driven policies.”
Colbeck then moved to the gas tax. Calley cast the tie-breaking vote to increase the gas tax in July 1, 2015. Colbeck hauled off on Calley’s tie-breaking vote and all those who supported the gas tax and the burden it had on families across Michigan.
Colbeck said, “Something that really frustrates me it’s when something applies to everybody we increase the taxes—that’s the gas tax, right? I fought that tooth and nail, I actually challenged all my colleagues to a debate when they said ‘there is no way to fix the roads unless you go off and increase taxes.’ Bullpucky!”
Many forget the Calley was among several high profile politicians that were out in front on supporting Proposal 1 in 2015. You’ll recall Proposal 1 would have hiked the state sales tax to 7% from 6%, taken the sales tax off fuel sales, and hiked fuel taxes. It was, essentially a $2 billion tax increase that turned into a Christmas tree for special interests – hanging school spending, transit and rails and local government spending all onto a “Roads” bill. It lost 80% to 20% – one of the worst ballot proposal defeats in Michigan’s history.
“But nobody wants to listen to the solutions that don’t increase taxes….only time we actually see tax decreases is when some lobbyist is going off and pushing it,” Colbeck continued.
As the back and forth continued, Colbeck then went on to take issue with Calley’s opposition to cutting the Granholm income tax from 4.25% to 3.9%. “We’re supposed to be the lobbyist for all of you. Where are the families getting their tax breaks? That’s why you don’t see that cut on the four and a quarter percent. Because that affects all of us.”
Calley responded by saying the MBT wasn’t replaced because of special interest pressure.
Colbeck then reminded the audience that Calley helped craft the MBT. Colbeck chided Calley by saying the MBT “was a stupid tax. It was a gross receipts tax.” (MBT). “Just look at it…we increase taxes on everybody, we cut taxes to satisfy special interests.”
This looks to be the first of many attacks from Colbeck on Calley when it comes to his tax increase record.
You can watch some of the exchange on the link below at the 51 minute mark: