Middle-class Michigan families can watch their taxes increase $50 every second. And they have Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative Republicans to thank for it.
For a party that says they want lower taxes, Republicans in Michigan sure like taxing the middle class. During the last legislative session, Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican-led legislature made severe changes to the Michigan tax code — increasing the burden on middle-class families by $4,320,822 a day.
To demonstrate exactly what this is costing Michiganders, House Democrats created the Republican Tax-O-Meter. This virtual display shows by-the-second tax shifts in Michigan that are taking away money from average citizens and giving it to wealthy CEOs and corporations.
Here’s what House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) had to say during Monday’s unveiling:
It’s no secret that people all over Michigan are hurting right now due to our unemployment rate and economy. To take away much-needed tax breaks for middle-class families and retirees is unforgivable. This just makes day-to-day expenses even more difficult to deal with.
House Democrats are focused on restoring tax credits and deductions to middle-class families and repealing taxes on retirees — relieving middle class families of the burdens imposed by Republican leadership during the last legislative session. Those burdens include a tax on retirement income, elimination of the Homestead Property Tax Credit for many families, drastic cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit and elimination of the $600 per-child tax deduction and tax credits for charitable donations. These changes were made to fund nearly $2 billion in tax breaks for big corporations. In other words, Michigan’s low-income and middle-class families are paying for a handout to these corporations.
The new taxes took effect in 2012 — catching many Michiganders by surprise when they filed their state income tax, says Representative Theresa Abed (D-Grand Ledge).
On Tax Day this year, many people were shocked to see the tax credits they had previously counted on were gone. This was money people counted on to pay their bills or help make ends meet. To take that away and add to the struggles of middle-class families was just plain wrong.
Earlier this year, Democratic state representatives heard the concerns of struggling Michiganders during their Real State of Our State Listening Tour. After the tour, legislators used this feedback to introduce bills including the following:
· Repeal the new tax on senior retirement income
· Require employers to inform employees about the Earned Income Tax Credit
· Restore the Earned Income Tax Credit to 11 percent in the first year
· Restore the Homestead Property Tax Credit
· Restore the child deduction
Along with these initiatives, the House Democrats pledge to continue fighting against tax increases on the middle class and seniors every time a new, harmful tax is introduced to the legislature. They also intend to keep Michigan taxpayers aware of the changes through a series of town halls across the state.
According to Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing), these bills will be a relief to Michigan families.
We know what has to be done to help and the best way to accomplish it. These bills will undo the tax increases imposed on Michigan working families and seniors since the Republicans took control of state government.
The House Democrats’ budget already has $781.8 million set aside to implement the changes from these bills.
Representative Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) urges Michiganders to take a look at the new website.
See how much you’re losing every second of every day with the Republican Tax-O-Meter. You can’t afford not to.
Visit GOPtax-o-meter.com for more information on the specific tax changes made, to learn more about the House Democrats’ plan, to sign an online petition and to learn how taxes were raised on you as an individual.
[Republican Tax-O-Meter image courtesy of the Michigan House Democratic Caucus.]