State Reps Schmidt and Dillon Call For Repeal of Tax Hikes

House Dems call for action as seniors, families struggle with new taxes
Monday, April 16, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS - State Representatives Roy Schmidt (D-Grand Rapids) and Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) today at a press conference in Grand Rapids called on Republicans to rescind their new taxes on retirees and to restore tax credits to the middle class by supporting Democrat-sponsored bills that will relieve the burden on Michigan families when next year’s tax deadline rolls around.

“At our town hall in March, Rep. Dillon and I heard firsthand from our seniors and families how these new tax laws are making life very hard for them now,” said Schmidt. “These new tax laws are hurting seniors trying to live on fixed incomes, and middle class families trying to keep food on their tables. Michiganders are suffering under these new tax changes and it’s time to repeal them before they do any more damage.”

In the past year, the Republican-led Legislature has made many changes to the Michigan tax code that punish middle-class families, including the introduction of a tax on retirement income, a steep reduction in the homestead tax credit, a drastic cut to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the elimination of the child tax credit and tax credits for charitable donations. These changes were made to fund more than $1 billion in tax breaks for big corporations, effectively making Michigan’s poor and middle-class families and senior citizens pay for a hand-out to big businesses. The new taxes take effect this year, which means many taxpayers won’t feel them until it comes time to file tax returns next year. However, retirees have already seen their monthly checks take a hit as the state starts to collect withholdings on pensions and 401(k) disbursements.

“The governor and the Republicans picked their wealthy corporate friends to be the winners in their tax changes and they left the rest of Michigan’s middle class families and seniors with shrinking wallets and retirement checks,” said Dillon. “Their tax plan hasn’t created a single job and instead left Michigan seniors and families struggling. It’s time to right this wrong and repeal these harmful tax changes.”

To correct this wrong, the Democrats have introduced several measures to undo these punitive changes and make Michigan’s tax system fair to everyone. These measures include House Bill 4818 to eliminate the senior tax and House Bill 5407 which would restore the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit for working families to the level it was at before Republicans cut it by 70 percent. In addition, the House Democrats pledged to continue fighting against tax increases on the middle class and seniors every time a new, harmful tax is introduced to the Legislature and have kept Michigan taxpayers aware of the changes through a series of town halls held across the state.