Never, or the end of my term, whichever comes first

LSJ 6-Dec-2007
Gov. says she won’t raise taxes ever again

Granholm instead will look to cuts, reforms for future

Kathy Barks Hoffman
Associated Press

Gov. Jennifer Granholm, stung by outrage from the business community over a now-repealed tax on services and some discontent with a state income tax increase, says she won’t resort to tax increases to cover any future shortfalls.

“The most important thing I learned is I’m not ever going to raise taxes again. It’s too hard. It’s too impossible,” Granholm said.

“Especially in light of our economy and what we’ve been through, I just don’t think that there’s anybody who’s interested in proceeding down that path again. And I’m first at the head of that line,” she added.

The Granholm administration still is asking for fee increases to help fund the state departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality. Lawmakers have agreed to take up the proposed raises in hunting and fishing license fees and DEQ permitting fees next month.

But the Democratic governor made it clear she’ll be looking at other ways to deal with the budget during her remaining three years in office.

“It has to be cuts and reforms. And there’s got to be some creative partnering with the private sector on some stuff, too,” she said.

Granholm pushed a general tax increase this year because she said the state no longer could rely on one-time fixes if it wanted to have enough money to educate its citizens and provide health care for children and the elderly.

In proposing her plan, the governor followed the advice of her bipartisan Emergency Financial Advisory Panel, which called for a mix of tax increases, spending cuts and government restructuring to balance the budget.

Granholm said the budget structure now is on much more stable footing, although she regrets that infighting over a compromise triggered a government shutdown and budget deadline extensions before the work was done.

“[T]oo impossible” is a very unique statement.

She’s not not going to raise taxes because it’s a seriously bad idea, she’s not going to do it because it’s too hard.

Leadership, Jen, it’s what your husband consults about. Have you read his book?

Neither have I.