Michigan House Republicans
Taxpayers would ‘keep the receipts’ with new Rep. Bierlein plan
RELEASE|April 15, 2024

Legislation would allow taxpayers to track how their dollars are used

State Rep. Matthew Bierlein has introduced a plan that provides people in Michigan with accountability and transparency regarding where their tax dollars are going.

Bierlein’s Taxpayer Receipt Act, House Bill 5633, will serve as a readily available inventory for how state government collects and uses tax dollars. Beginning with the 2024 tax year, the plan requires the Michigan State Budget Office to provide individual taxpayers who filed a return in the previous taxable year with an annual single page revenue report via mail explaining how tax dollars were allocated.

Individual taxpayers would also be able to see total distributions to the general fund, school aid fund, transportation fund, and others, as well as the total amount of refunds that were issued.

“We have seen state budgets increase significantly over a period of several years. It’s more and more spending, and many people I talk with want to know where their hard-earned dollars are going or what they’re being used for,” said Bierlein, of Vassar. “People want to make sure the taxes they’re paying are going into their local roads and schools or supporting law enforcement as they work to keep communities and neighborhoods safe. If those dollars are being used for pork spending, that’s valuable knowledge, too, so they can weigh whether to advocate for a different approach.”

Bierlein said the proposal works hand in hand with efforts to improve the state’s poor government transparency rankings nationally.

“Part of our responsibility as legislators is being good stewards of people’s tax dollars,” Bierlein said. “If we aren’t being fully transparent with that, it’s not going to be a good-faith relationship with people we’re representing. This is a responsible way forward and a needed one given the concerning spike in government spending that we’re seeing.”

The legislation has been referred to the House Tax Policy Committee for consideration.

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