LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a tax plan that would include tax cuts for low-income workers and retirees but would take several years to fully implement. 

She said Monday that the latest proposal would provide equal exemptions for a certain level of retirement income, whether from public or private retirement plans, which Republicans have been advocating since the beginning of the new legislative session.  

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“The governor once again refused to say whether she’ll attempt accounting tricks to obstruct the permanent income tax cut that’s headed to every Michigander and small business. She either isn’t familiar with the details of her own plan, or she’s trying to hide a secret tax hike from the people” House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R) Richland Township said in a statement, “Why would the people of Michigan give up a permanent tax cut for a small, one-time payment of $180? Gov. Whitmer must stop dodging and start delivering real, permanent relief to Michigan families.”

At the press conference on Monday, Gov. Whitmer provided an outline of the “Lowering MI Costs” plan which included the rolling back of the retirement tax and an increase in the state’s earned income tax credit. 

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“This will be the largest tax break for working families and seniors in Michigan in decades,” according to Whitmer at the conference. 

The retirement tax would phase in fully over four years and would put an average of $1,000 back in the pockets of 500,000 households according to the Governor.  Meanwhile, the Michigan Working Families tax credit match of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would spike to 30% from its current 6% match.  This would deliver an average combined tax refund of nearly $3,200 to 700,000 families according to the Governor which would impact nearly one million kids – almost half of the children in Michigan. 

While the plan would provide for those will public and private retirement plans, and be retroactive, as Republican lawmakers have been advocating for, the plans lack of immediacy or addressing the automatic income tax rollback gives some pause to Republicans. 

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“I am concerned that Gov. Whitmer continues to fight against the anticipated automatic income tax rollback and push for a limited tax cut for retirees that will leave two-thirds of Michigan’s seniors behind. We should be working together to help all seniors and all families with ongoing tax relief,” Minority Senate Leader Aric Nesbitt (R) Porter Township said in a statement, ““People can spend their own money far more wisely than the government. Given the state’s historic budget surplus, all options should be on the table for helping all Michiganders with meaningful relief from historic inflation. This money belongs to the taxpayers, not the state of Michigan.”

Eric Ventimiglia, Executive Director of Michigan Rising Action, criticized the Governor and the money for not actually prioritizing taxpayers. 

“As Governor, Gretchen Whitmer has handed out Michigan taxpayer dollars to foreign companies, ex-employees, and without concern for fraud. With allies Winnie Brinks and Joe Tate in the legislature, Whitmer continues to put taxpayers at the end of the line,” Ventimiglia said in an email, “Inflation costs the average Michigan household an extra $460 per month. The paltry $180 checks will barely cover 11 days worth of added inflationary costs and won’t begin to provide any meaningful relief to struggling Michigan families.”

Gov. Whitmer will announce her full budget proposal tomorrow morning at the Capitol in Heritage Hall.