DETROIT - State Representatives Thomas Stallworth (Detroit), Dian Slavens (Canton) and George T. Darany (Dearborn) at a press conference in Detroit today called on state 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.
“We’re here on the eve of Tax Day and Michiganders need to know that next year, many of the credits they rely on to keep the lights on and feed their families will disappear,” said Rep. Stallworth. “Our middle class has been under attack for the last year and it’s time that the Republican Legislature begins working for the people who elected them, not the people funding their campaigns.”
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 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.
“Our caucus has held town halls across the state to hear from residents about the senior tax and the elimination of vital tax credits,” said Rep. Slavens. “One thing has been consistent: that the people are angry about having their retirements taxed or their credits disappearing to fund a tax break for large banks, oil companies and the insurance industry that does nothing to put middle class families back to work. We need to be supporting the true engines of our state: small businesses, not corporate monoliths.”
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.
“We need to carefully think about where our priorities are as a state,” said Rep. Darany. “Cutting funds from our children and placing additional burdens on our seniors and middle class families is the road to economic ruin, not prosperity. We need to return to supporting our kids in the classrooms and giving small businesses the tools they need to grow and create jobs in our state.”