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  • Michigan Is Ours: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., once said, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”   In 2005, the League of Women Voters established a task force (Michigan Is Ours) to study the issue of adequate funding of state government. That action was taken in response to the concerns of several league members that state government revenues were inadequate to address the needs of its citizens. For a number of years, elected officials in Michigan have been reducing taxes – apparently in response to the perception that many of us resent paying them. Consider, that from 2000 to 2010, Michigan tax revenues have fallen in three major categories: personal income taxes from $7.135 billion to $5.27 billion; sales and use tax from $7.63 billion to $7.03 billion; and business taxes from $2.88 billion to $2.47 billion. 
      
    The consequences have been significant. From 2001 to 2008, Michigan 's state-employee workforce was reduced by more that 11,000 or 18.1% of 2001 employment. Since September 11, 2001, funding for police and fire protection has been reduced by $3 billion – taking 1,800 police officers and 2,400 firefighters off the street. The state's overall investment in state appropriations for universities has reversed – from $2 in state funding for every $1 in tuition a generation ago to $2 in tuition for every $1 in state appropriations. Click here for more examples.