That some Michigan residents will be getting a tax cut is virtually certain. The form it takes is very much up in the air, however, despite Gov. Rick Snyder’s support for a partial restoration of the Homestead Property Tax Credit.
Republicans are not happy with Snyder’s proposal, which would
permanently raise the income cutoff for the Homestead Property Tax
Credit to $60,000, still short of the $82,650 threshold that existed
before the governor took office in 2011.
Snyder felt that tax
relief should be targeted for lower- and middle-income families. His
proposal would mean an estimated 1.3 million taxpayers would pay $103
million less in taxes in year one, equaling about $79 per filing,
according to an Associated Press report.
State Rep. Patrick
Somerville (R-Huron Twp.) indicated he would favor something that is
broader based. He worries about “further complicating the tax code.”
Somerville instead favors a plan that
would reduce the income tax from its current 4.25 percent to 4.15
percent on Oct. 1; to 4.05 percent in October of next year; and possibly
to 3.95 percent the year after if the state has a surplus of $300
million or more at the time.
Pension tax relief also might be in order, he said.
Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) said his first concern is the condition of
Michigan’s roads, but he concedes there may be room for tax reduction.
Colbeck, whose district includes eight communities in the southern
portion of Downriver, said he likes “the idea of reducing property
taxes,” and he also thinks that “promoting charities is a good way to
help the poor.”
To that end, he indicated he would support an
increase in the limit for charitable tax deductions. Colbeck feels the
private sector is more effective in helping the underprivileged than the
Democratic lawmakers questioned for this colum
did not respond, but Rep. Andrew Kandrevas of Southgate last year
endorsed a Democratic plan to restore tax credits and deductions to
middle-class families and repeal new taxes on retirees.
statement on his website, State Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor) said
“the governor’s incomplete restoration of the Homestead Property Tax
Credit pales in comparison to the thousands of dollars in additional
taxes he has placed on Michigan families, and his budget continues to
rely on taxes on retirement income and the elimination of the child
deduction and the reduction of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
“The proposed increased income
threshold to qualify for the Homestead Property Tax Credit remains far
below what it was before it was slashed by the governor earlier in his
term, leaving thousands of middle class families unable to qualify for
it and paying higher taxes as a result.”
Democrats have been
consistent in their criticism of the governor and the legislature for
raising taxes on individuals while cutting them on businesses in 2011.
said it is certainly nice to be talking about a $1 billion surplus as
opposed to the $1.5 billion deficit that faced lawmakers and Snyder in
“It’s tough to say what will pass,” Somerville said. It
could be a “combination of everything.” He called the situation a
“moving puzzle,” but said there should be enough in the surplus to
provide significant tax relief, increase funding for roads and schools
and set aside a rainy day fund in the range of $750 million.
There’s still time for taxpayers to weigh in. They should email their state representatives and senators.