Rep. Townsend on GOP Tax Plan: It's Insulting to Michigan's Families

Lawmaker says Republican tax plan does too little for Michigan families
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

LANSING — Democratic members of the House Tax Policy Committee offered a series of amendments to a tax rollback package sponsored by Republicans on Wednesday. The Republican package, which includes House Bills 5265, 5266 and 5267, offers a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Michiganders, while paying very little to taxpayers whose taxes went up the most in 2011.

The amendments, offered by Minority Vice Chairwoman Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills), would tie-bar the Republican package to a series of bills sponsored by Democratic representatives to undo the most harmful parts of the Republican tax plan of 2011. These bills would restore the Homestead Property Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the $600 per-child deduction. They would also repeal the retirement income tax. State Rep. Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) voted in favor of all of the amendments.

“This tax cut proposal is insulting to the hardworking families of Michigan who had their taxes raised in 2011, and are now being offered pennies while millionaires get a tax giveaway worth thousands,” Townsend said. “When the Republicans came into the majority in 2011, they enacted a set of disastrous tax policies that have been paid for by Michigan’s middle-income families, while the highest earners saw no tax increase. Under this Republican proposal, a single person with a $500,000 income would get $922 back. A retired couple with a $53,000 income saw their taxes rise by more than $3,000 in 2011, but this plan would only refund them $90.”

Townsend continued, “These tax hikes were enacted to pay for a giveaway to big corporations with the false promise that Michigan’s economy would rebound and jobs would come back. Our unemployment rate has remained static since 2012, and is fourth worst in the United States. Our families are paying more and have nothing to show for it.”

The Democratic amendments to tie-bar the bills were voted down without a single Republican vote in favor. The bills were eventually voted out of committee and to the full House. Townsend did not vote in favor of moving the Republican package out to the House.