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The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site - www.ag.state.mi.us)



Opinion No. 6639

November 7, 1989


City income tax--limitation on scheduling of election to increase rate

A city may schedule an election after November 9, 1989 to increase the city income tax rate without the limitation on scheduling provided in MCL 141.503e; MSA 5.3194(3c).

Honorable Thomas L. Hickner

State Representative

The Capitol

Lansing, MI

You have requested my opinion as to if and when a home rule city may seek, for the second time, the necessary voter approval to increase the city's income tax rate, pursuant to the City Income Tax Act, 1964 PA 284, Sec. 3c, as added by 1988 PA 520, MCL 141.503c; MSA 5.3194(3c).

Section 3c provides:

A city that levied the tax authorized by this act before the effective date of this section may amend the ordinance to increase the rate to an annual tax of not more than 1 1/2% on corporations and resident individuals and not more than 3/4% on nonresident individuals, but not more than 1/2 of the tax rate imposed on resident individuals. An amendment to the city income tax ordinance under this section is not effective unless the amendment is approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting on the question. Before November 10, 1989, an amendment under this section shall not be placed before the voters for approval more than once in any 12-month period. This section applies only to a city with a population of more than 140,000 and less than 1,000,000 or a city with a population of more than 65,000 and less than 100,000 in a county with a population of less than 300,000. [ Emphasis added.]

Specifically, you have questioned whether a city which has already proposed an amendment to the income tax ordinance which failed, may again place the proposal before the voters, and if so, what timing limitations might apply.

Section 3c provides that, before November 9, 1989, a proposed amendment to a city ordinance that would raise the taxing percentage can only be placed before the voters once in any 12-month period. After November 9, 1989, this restriction, by its express terms, is no longer applicable.

Therefore, assuming that a city has met the other requirements of section 3c, it is my opinion that the city may again place a proposal to amend the income tax ordinance before the people after November 9, 1989. It is my further opinion that should the proposal fail at the first election after November 9, 1989, the statute does not restrict the number of times it may be resubmitted to the electorate thereafter.

Frank J. Kelley

Attorney General

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