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Ballot Proposal 5

Vote NO on Ballot Proposal 5

Proposal 5 amends the Michigan Constitution to prohibit the imposition of new or additional taxes or expansion of the base of taxation by the State of Michigan unless approved by a 2/3 majority of members in each chamber of the legislature or by a statewide vote of the people.

The so-called two-thirds ballot proposal – permanently changes the state constitution: it creates minority rule in the Legislature by giving super powers to a small minority of just 13 senators.

Proposal 5 – Enshrines into the State's Constitution, a near-unachievable vote hurdle to changing, especially increasing, Michigan's taxes.

Click here to read the joint press release issued by the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Council of Michigan Foundations 

Why Nonprofits and Foundations Should Care

• The State of Michigan is #8 in the nation for not paying nonprofits for the full cost of grants and contracts.

• Many nonprofits rely on the already revenue-challenged state and local government partnership to ensure our social safety net. The average nonprofit gets 1/3 of its revenue from public sources.

•A number of public/private partnerships would be challenged to find public financial support. These could include existing projects and future ones involving mass transit, access to higher education, environmental stewardship, and more.

Experiences in Other Super-Majority States

Most state legislatures can send tax bills to the governor with a simple majority vote in each house, the same margin required to enact most other bills.  This has been the process in Michigan since it became a state 175 years ago.

10 states have super-majority requirements, and they tend to have struggling economies and ongoing state budget crises.


  • One of the states (Nevada) has the nation’s highest unemployment rate.
  • One of the states (Mississippi) is the poorest state in terms of per capita income.
  • One of the states (California) failed to meet its constitutional deadline for balancing the state budget 16 out of 20 years because of legislative gridlock.
  • Of the 10 states with some form of super-majority requirements, 7 have unemployment rates above the national average; 7 have per capita incomes below the national average.

If this was the path to prosperity, these states would be among the leaders in per capita income and employment. They are not. The two-thirds proposal  is preventing these states from providing the economic climate, tax and spending reforms, and investment that employers and young talent want, in order to create the good paying jobs for their citizens.

Don't let this happen in Michigan. Vote NO on Proposal 5.  For more information or to take part in the Defend Michigan Democracy movement visit www.defendmidemocracy.com

Ballot Measures and Nonprofits: Yes you can Influence that Vote

Ballot measures allow voters to propose and enact laws. They include ballot initiatives, constitutional amendments, bond measures, and referendums.

Typically, ballot measures are created when a threshold number of signatures are gathered on a petition to express public support. After the signature threshold has been met, the measure is certified for the election and then presented to the public on a ballot for the voters’ final decision.

501(c)(3) public charities can proactively initiate ballot measures, react to measures proposed by others, and support or oppose ballot measures and encourage the public to vote accordingly. Organizations may propose ballot measures (including indirect initiatives) and collect signatures so a ballot measure can be certified. Additionally, public charities can challenge the certification of any proposed ballot measure or oppose indirect initiatives by lobbying the legislative body.

More information about how public charities measure their lobbying and the corresponding definitions is available in Being A Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulations for Advocacy Charities


Visit bolderadvocacy.org for more information on nonprofits and ballot measures. Click here for information on Public Policy and Advocacy resources in Michigan. 

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