press release


News from Progress Michigan

December 5, 2019

Contact: Sam Inglot, (616) 916-0574,

Data Showing Opposition to Corporate Tax Handouts Given to House Representatives

While many public services remain underfunded, people say ‘enough’ to corporate handouts.

LANSING — On Thursday, volunteers from Clean Water Action and other progressive groups went to the House of Representatives to speak with elected officials and present them with new polling data conducted by Public Policy Polling. The data is clear: The majority of Michiganders oppose corporate tax handouts and believe wealthy businesses should be paying their fair share in taxes for state revenue.

You can find the informational handout that was handed to the elected officials in the House here.

The results have come at a very critical time. Elected officials are considering several pieces of legislation that would give away taxpayer money to corporations while Michiganders continue to go without long-term fixes to public services, like schools and infrastructure, that our children and communities depend on.

“The people of Michigan have made it abundantly clear that they are sick of being short-handed funding for clean water, public schools, and our roads while big businesses in the state benefit from these huge corporate tax breaks,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “For far too long corporations haven’t paid their fair share of taxes. The result? Our bridges are crumbling, our water all over the state remains contaminated with lead and PFAS with no funding to fix it, and our children are suffering from our public schools not receiving the money they need. It’s time the elected officials in Lansing stop doing what’s good for wealthy corporations and make the people of Michigan their priority.”

The poll included Michiganders of all political ideologies and found that the majority oppose corporate tax breaks and support increasing taxes on big businesses in order to fund our schools, clean water, and infrastructure. Below are some of the results from that poll:

The State Legislature is considering bills that would give new data centers in Michigan tax breaks on sales and use taxes. Supporters of the bills say they will help bring new jobs to the state, while opponents say the move will take tax money away from neighborhood schools. Do you support or oppose this type of legislation?

  • Support – 27%
  • Oppose – 42%
  • Not sure – 31%

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Corporations and wealthy individuals should pay more in taxes than they currently do to pay for things like roads, schools, and clean water.

  • Agree – 57%
  • Disagree – 36%
  • Not sure – 7%

A program launched in 2017 offered up nearly $169 million in tax breaks for five large corporations to do business in Michigan. That program has yet to result in any new jobs. There are plans to expand the tax breaks program, which would mean companies would get $20,500 in tax breaks for each new job they bring in. Do you support or oppose expanding this program?

  • Support – 31%
  • Oppose – 52%
  • Not sure – 17%

In general, do you support or oppose big businesses getting tax breaks for hiring people even if it means less resources for schools and local governments?

  • Support – 27%
  • Oppose – 60%
  • Not sure – 13%

Would you support or oppose increasing taxes on big businesses to fund priorities like roads, schools and clean water?

  • Support – 58%
  • Oppose – 31%
  • Not sure – 11%

You can find the informational handout that was handed to the elected officials in the House here.