In 2007 the Michigan Legislature approved a “temporary” income tax hike, raising the rate from 3.9 percent to 4.35 percent. Embedded in the legislation was a promise to gradually roll back the tax hike starting in 2011, returning to the previous 3.9 percent rate by 2015.

Instead, in 2012 the Legislature voted to freeze the income tax rate at 4.25 percent and cancel the scheduled reductions. The income tax never went back to the original 3.9 percent. In 2016 alone, Michigan taxpayers delivered an extra $770 million in income taxes that they wouldn’t have had to pay if the 2007 tax cut promise had been kept.

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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