Smiley, Ananich Push Tax Break For Working Drivers

Bill creates tax credit for commuters who purchase gas to get to work
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LANSING - State Representatives Charles Smiley (Burton) and Jim Ananich (Flint) recently announced their support for a measure, introduced by House Democrats yesterday, that would provide a tax credit towards the purchase of gas for residents who drive to their place of employment. The aim of the bill is to help alleviate some of the burden placed on middle-class families as gas prices continue to rise.

“Current gas prices are a burden for many Michigan residents, and they only seem to increase with each passing day,” said Smiley, a member of the House Committee on Transportation. “I know this legislation will prove very helpful for many working families by allowing them to use those extra dollars for other essential needs. Paychecks should go to local businesses or savings accounts, not just the pump.”

A tax break for Michiganders who commute to work would at least provide some assistance to struggling middle-class families and support local businesses by freeing up consumer dollars. Ultimately, a national, long-term solution needs to be achieved.

Specifically, the bill would provide a 50 percent or $100 tax credit, whichever is lowest, for a taxpayer making $50,000 or less. It would also provide a 25 percent credit for total gasoline expenses paid for an individual making between $50,000 and $75,000 and a 10 percent credit for those making $75,000 to $100,000. Michigan has roughly 7.2 million vehicles registered in the state that annually use 4.3 billion gallons of gas.

“Money siphoned out of workers’ paychecks cost us jobs and threaten our economic recovery,” said Ananich. “This measure will at least provide modest relief for people trying to earn a living.”