LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, and Speaker Joe Tate this week rolled out the Lowering MI Costs Plan, which they say will deliver the largest tax break to Michiganders in decades.
The plan rolls back the retirement tax, boosts the Working Families Tax Credit, and delivers inflation relief checks to every taxpayer.
“The #1 concern for Michiganders right now is costs,” Whitmer said. “Our plan puts money back in people’s pockets by rolling back the retirement tax, quintupling the Working Families Tax Credit, and delivering inflation relief checks to every taxpayer.
“Getting this done will help people pay the bills and put food on the table as inflation impacts their monthly budgets,” she added. “I am proud that we are hustling to get this done and deliver real, immediate relief to Michiganders.”
Tate said House Democrats “heard from Michiganders across the state” they want the retirement tax repealed.
“Their priorities are our priorities,” Tate said. “With the passage of this plan, we are making good on our promise to the people of Michigan. (The plan) gives retirees back their hard-earned money, puts dollars into the hands of working families, and delivers much-needed relief from inflation for people across our state.
“This is meaningful relief at a time when Michiganders truly need it,” he added. “I am proud of my colleagues in both chambers and the governor for her leadership to get this done.”
Brinks called the plan “a tremendously exciting moment for Michigan.”
“It includes key promises that Democrats have been talking about in coffee shops and townhalls and at our neighbors’ doors for years,” Brinks said. “It reflects what we have been hearing from Michiganders and what we have been working to deliver: lowering costs, combating the pinch of inflation, and providing real, immediate relief for the people of our state.”
In a statement posted to his website, House Republican Leader Matt Hall criticized the plan.
“There’s still so much we don’t know, and we need to protect the permanent, ongoing relief that’s teed up for Michiganders and small businesses,” the statement read. “(Whitmer) says there are no secrets or surprises in her proposal, so why won’t she show it to legislators or the people of Michigan?”
Phasing out retirement tax
The plan phases out the retirement tax over four years and ultimately puts an average of $1,000 back in the pockets of 500,000 households. Lowering MI Costs will equalize the exemption on both public and private pensions.
The plan also quintuples the Michigan Working Families Tax Credit match of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 30%, up from 6%. It delivers an average combined tax refund of $3,150 to 700,000 families, directly impacting nearly one million kids—almost half the kids in Michigan.
Lowering MI Costs makes this boost retroactive for tax year 2022, meaning families will get more money in their pockets this year.
Checks are coming
The plan will deliver $180 inflation relief checks to every Michigan tax filer, providing immediate relief by putting money back in pockets. Ensures everyone receives some relief and builds on relief for working families and seniors.
The program will cost some $800 million, which would come out of the state’s general fund budget. Everyone would get a check, whether they owe the state or got a refund.
Democrats need six Republican senators to support the package for it to take immediate effect. Without them, the plan would likely have to wait until 2024.