Immediately after taking office in January, I knew one of my top priorities would be to get some needed relief to Michigan families who were struggling to make ends meet. Inflation was recently at a 40-year high, and everyone deserves relief from the high cost of everyday goods and services.
Good news was on the horizon because all Michigan taxpayers were about to receive a permanent income tax cut. Under a Republican-sponsored state law enacted in 2015, every taxpayer was expecting to receive the rate reduction this spring because state revenues had significantly outpaced inflation. The income tax rollback was a promise the state made to the people.
What many citizens weren’t expecting was that Michigan Democrats would try to break that promise. The plan they put forward gave this state revenue instead to large corporations for economic development projects. Small-business owners would get nothing, even though small businesses provide half the jobs in Michigan and many file under the state income tax.
At the last minute, Democrats decided to bundle a bunch of tax relief proposals together to help hide the fact that they were blocking the massive income tax rate reduction for people. Many of these proposals had been previously approved. I initially voted in favor of eliminating the pension tax because it’s vital that senior citizens get relief. I also previously supported increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit to help working families. But when Democrats altered the proposals to block long-lasting income tax relief to all residents, I could no longer support it.
The tax “deal” Democrats reached behind closed doors simply didn’t do enough for working families and small businesses. In fact, by blocking the income tax rate rollback, the plan amounts to a tax hike on people.
Although the one-time $180 rebate checks could be somewhat helpful, Michigan taxpayers would have saved much more over time with the permanent income tax rate cut. The rebate checks also are anti-marriage and anti-family since married spouses who file tax jointly, which most do, would only receive $90 a person.
It’s unfortunate the governor and legislative Democrats decided to meet in secrecy about the plan, even though they fully realized Republicans have a strong interest in giving people tax relief as well. Although I am a first-term legislator, I understand politics. I wholeheartedly believe the people of Michigan want us to work together in order to enact the best possible plan for them, for all public policy issues. It was a missed opportunity, but I’m hopeful it won’t be a harbinger for what could happen in the future.
What’s especially important is that I will continue to work to allow working families and small businesses throughout Michigan to keep more of what they earn in perpetuity by allowing the income tax rollback to happen. We must keep this important promise to the people.
Rep. DeBoer welcomed Sylvia Williams to the Capitol as her guest for the governor’s State of the State Address. The two women serve together on the advisory board of She Leads Michigan, an organization of diverse female leaders who collaborate to find solutions for modern-day challenges.
State Rep. Nancy DeBoer (R-Holland) was sworn into office on the floor of the Michigan House on Wednesday by House Clerk Gary Randall (left). She was joined by her husband, Jim DeBoer (center), as she placed her hand on the Bible to take her ceremonial oath of office.
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