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More details expected on Democrats' tax plan

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Piggy Bank

More details are expected Monday from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature’s Democratic leaders on a package to help taxpayers deal with the rising cost of living.

The state has a surplus, and the plan they outlined Friday is expected to include targeted tax rollbacks and rebate checks for residents.

House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) said the Democratic leadership wants to give Michiganders some relief from the rising cost of living.

“We want to be able to focus on tax relief that will cover all of Michigan residents,” he said. “So, that’s our focus and that’s where we want to get to.”

Whitmer said she wants to reduce the income tax on people on pensions have to pay. And she wants to fully restore the state Earned Income Tax Credit to help lower-income families. The credit was rolled back by Republicans in 2011 to help pay for reducing businesses taxes.

“It eviscerated the Earned Income Tax Credit,” Whitmer said. “People work full time but can’t make enough to get ahead. I’m trying to undo the harm that was done 12 years ago, so that’s job one.”

But Whitmer says she thinks many Republicans will find things to like in this tax package.

“I anticipate and look forward to bipartisan support because this is one of those opportunities that I think everyone in the Legislature is going to want to be part of,” said Whitmer.

Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt (R-Porter Township) said it appears some GOP ideas are incorporated into the plan.

“Senate Republicans are cautiously optimistic that Governor Whitmer may finally be heeding our call for immediate inflation relief for Michiganders,” he said. “But when it comes to lower taxes, her actions have too frequently failed to match her words. Michiganders have too often played Charlie Brown to the governor’s Lucy as she yanks away her promises of tax relief at the last second.”

The package could start moving through the Legislature as soon as this week.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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