State House - 5Th District - Republican
Paul Taros of Birmingham is president of Taros & Associates, PC, certified public accountants. He received his BBA from University of Michigan and his MBA from Wayne State University. He is a three-time Ambassador of the Year for the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, on the board of directors for Crossroads for Youth, and active at St. George Greek Orthodox Church.
Legislative bans on education topics
In 24 states legislation has been introduced to restrict or outright ban the teaching and/or discussion of certain topics such as race, racism, gender-based issues and how American history is taught in the K-12 public school system. Critics of these efforts to restrict what is taught in public schools say such legislation prevents open inquiry into important issues. Should the state legislature in Michigan dictate or restrict what is taught in public school classrooms? Would you support such legislation? Why or why not? Please be specific in your answer.
Our schools need to get back to teaching students how to think, not what to think. Schools should teach and discuss the Dr. Ossian Sweet case, which took place in Detroit. (Dr. Ossian Sweet along with ten family members and friends were charged with murder after a mob attacked his Detroit home.) Students would be able to discuss race and gun rights, among other things.
Michigan continues to rank near the bottom in comparison with other states when it comes to codified ethics and transparency rules for state lawmakers. The Michigan House, during several recent sessions, has approved bills to force disclosure of personal financial information of House and Senate members, along with members of the administration, and in some cases members of the state Supreme Court and university boards, although the Senate has not advanced such bills. Would you support financial disclosure legislation and, if so, are the current bills approved by the House sufficient? Should the disclosed information be publicly available?
Corruption at all levels of government needs to stop and those who are found guilty need to be fully prosecuted. Financial disclosures should be required for not only elected officials, but also bureaucrats in a position to select and/or pay vendors.
Term limits for legislators/administration
Do you think the current term limits for House and Senate members are in need of review? Do you support the proposal for term limits that could be on the November ballot which would allow an elected House or Senate member to serve longer terms in either the House or Senate? Why or why not?
No, I do not believe we should increase the number of years a person can serve in the House or Senate. Our founders envisioned a lawmaker serving in the legislature and then returning to live as a private citizen, under the laws they passed. We do not need career politicians.
State budget surplus
The state of Michigan has been running a general fund and school aid fund surplus for two years and is expected to carry over a surplus of $7 billion moving into the budget for fiscal year 2022-2023, which must be adopted by October 1. The surplus has been driven by growing tax revenues and a decline in student population, which reduces spending in that area by about $300 million annually. The budget surplus does not include nearly $15 billion in federal pandemic funding that will be spent over the next several years. A variety of proposals from the administration and the Republican-controlled Senate have been put forth, including tax cuts for both business and individuals. What are your ideas for using the budget surplus for the coming fiscal year’s budget? Be specific.
Taxpayers are being crushed by skyrocketing food and gas prices. To help ease their pain I would certainly be in favor of tax cuts. The bloated state government is full of pet projects, ineffective programs and wasteful spending. Let’s give the taxpayers a break and cut their taxes.
Highland Park water/sewer debt
Highland Park, a member of the Great Lakes Water Authority, since 2012 has failed to pay for what now amounts to over $54 million in water and sewer debt, which means member communities in Oakland County will be placed in a position to underwrite this debt whether through increased rates for water and sewer or tapping budget reserves to accomplish the same. The state of Michigan has failed to deal with this issue. What do you think should be the solution to this growing problem of a GLWA member community failing to pay for water and sewer services? Please be specific.
Water was once a minor expense, but today it is a major portion of every household’s budget. When a GLWA member does not pay for their water and sewer services it drives up the cost of water and sewer services for the other member communities. If a GLWA member doesn’t pay their bills they should be removed from the authority.
Voting law changes
Voters approved no-reason absentee voting and a number of other changes by a wide margin in 2018. There have been several attempts since 2020 to make changes to the election laws, but critics have charged that some of the changes would negatively impact some voters. Do you think further changes to the election laws are needed and if so, what specifically would those changes be? If you do, why do you think so? How would that impact the proposal voters passed in 2018?
Fair and honest elections are a cornerstone of any democracy. Every eligible voter should be assured that their vote is counted and that there are no fraudulent votes cast. I would support any law that restores our belief that the election results are fair and accurate.
2020 presidential election results
Do you accept the presidential election results of 2020 in Michigan? Will you accept the results of the 2022 primary and general election? Explain why or why not.
There are millions of voters who believe voter fraud took place in the 2020 election. The documentary “2000 Mules“ indicates that there was voter fraud. Other investigators have found numerous statistical abnormalities that suggest voter fraud took place. These facts certainly warrant a commission to investigate the 2020 election and make recommendations to insure safe and secure elections in the future.
Michigan abortion ban law
In 1931, Michigan legislators adopted a law that banned abortion in the state, based on an 1846 ban that had been in effect. Now with the U.S. Supreme Court preparing to rule and likely overturn Roe v. Wade, some are concerned that the 1931 Michigan law will prevent any abortions here. Do you think the 1931 Michigan act banning abortion should be revised or eliminated to allow for abortions here if Roe V. Wade is overturned? Why or why not?
Government should protect those least able to care for themselves and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of protection than an unborn baby. To think of an unborn baby just days away from being born, to be suddenly torn from the mother’s womb and killed is abhorrent. Roe v. Wade needs to be overturned.
Right of redress
The Michigan House and Senate have in the past employed seldom used maneuvers to prevent the public from challenging laws that were enacted. Lawmakers accomplish this by attaching an expenditure provision to the legislation which then prevents citizens from petitioning to overturn the law. Citizens in Michigan are allowed referendum rights when it comes to legislation but not laws involving spending. Do you think that such legal maneuvers should be used by the legislature or do such actions diminish the rights of the public to challenge what lawmakers have adopted? What can be done to eliminate such maneuvers on the part of the legislature?
The citizens elect the legislature, so it is disingenuous to say that if the legislature attaches an expenditure provision to a piece of legislation it prevents citizens from having a voice. When Democrats embrace the mantra “the ends justify the means” it is very troubling.
Why select you?
Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) in this contest? Please be specific.
Michigan is in trouble. We are paying more in taxes and getting poorer services. Our schools are failing, the roads are atrocious and public safety has declined. We need to prioritize our spending and eliminate unnecessary programs. I have and will continue to call out wrongdoing by elected officials.