Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Markkanen: Gov. Whitmer, AG Nessel misinterpret law to block permanent tax relief
RELEASE|April 6, 2023

Intent of 2015 law is clear: Michigan workers are owed permanent tax relief

State Rep. Greg Markkanen criticized a recent opinion issued by Attorney General Dana Nessel that blocks full implementation of the Republican income tax rollback plan.

Attorney General Dana Nessel published a formal opinion on March 28 declaring that the income tax that took effect this spring, the result of a 2015 state law, will only stay in effect for one year. Markkanen said the bill’s original purpose, as written by legislators, was to create a permanent tax cut. Nessel’s interpretation of the legislation as temporary contradicts the views of legal experts, fiscal analysts, and legislative counsel.

“Taxpayers across the Upper Peninsula and Michigan deserve permanent relief,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “Now is not the time to play partisan politics with people’s wallets in a scheme to continue the government’s rampant spending spree. Since the beginning of the year, Gov. Whitmer and Lansing Democrats have tried every gimmick in the book to stop the scheduled income tax rollback. After failing to find their own avenue, they are now turning to Attorney General Nessel to stand as their latest roadblock to prevent lasting relief for Michigan families.”

Architects of the income tax cut trigger, former Gov. Rick Snyder, former Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter, and former Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, have all stated that this law was intended to be permanent. The nonpartisan experts at the House Fiscal Agency have also said that the income tax cut would be permanent.

“AG Nessel’s decision to end the tax relief after just one year contradicts the law as written, and it is a shameful effort by Democrats to negate law simply because they do not agree with it,” Markkanen said. “It is a blatant, all-hands-on-deck plan by Democrats in Lansing to raise taxes on hardworking Michiganders. Folks in the U.P. have seen state government spend billions of their hard-earned tax dollars over the past several months while they face tough budget decisions at home. Now, we’re watching state government fight tooth and nail to block permanent financial relief. This is unjustly tone-deaf, and a slap in the face to hardworking taxpayers across the state.”

Earlier this year, Lansing Democrats used House Bill 4001 as an attempt to block the income tax cut and spend the state surplus, instead of providing much-needed relief to struggling Michiganders.

Markkanen and fellow House Republicans have fought to preserve the tax cut while Democrats have tried numerous efforts to block the automatic pay raise for Michiganders. Despite Democrat-driven provisions in House Bill 4001 to block the tax cut, Republican efforts ensured that they did not take effect.

State Rep. Greg Markannen serves on the House Committee on Tax Policy. He represents the 110th House District, which includes the Upper Peninsula counties of Iron, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon, and Gogebic, and a portion of Dickinson County.

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