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Senate Finance Committee chair calls for new negotiations to reduce taxes for all seniors, Michigan families

LANSING, Mich. —  Senate Finance Committee Chair Jim Runestad on Tuesday called for new negotiations on tax relief for all of Michigan’s senior residents and families, and welcomed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to set aside her veto pen and join the discussion following reports that she will call for tax cuts on senior retirement income during her State of the State address on Wednesday in light of surplus revenues.

“Gov. Whitmer is late to the party, but we welcome her to join the effort with Senate Republicans to reduce tax burdens for hardworking Michigan families and vulnerable seniors who are now facing the financial challenges of historic inflation levels,” said Runestad, R-White Lake.

“Many seniors are now working past the standard age of retirement. Unfortunately, the governor’s one-sided, closed-door approach to policy has resulted in a proposal that will leave vulnerable working seniors behind. Senate Bill 467 of 2021 has already been approved by Senate Finance committee and would provide tax relief to all seniors — not just those with retirement income — by increasing exemptions on all senior income.”

The Senate Finance Committee is conducting a hearing on Wednesday to vote on a new proposal, introduced by committee vice chair Sen. Aric Nesbitt, that would combine a $500 child tax credit with a reduction of the income tax on all taxable income to 3.9% and a reduction of the corporate income tax to 3.9%, aiming to be on par with neighboring states.

“In addition to my bill to cut taxes for all seniors — regardless of their income — the Senate Finance Committee has passed a child tax credit for hardworking families, property tax relief for small Michigan businesses, and a reduction in the corporate income tax to keep competitive with neighboring states,” Runestad said. “And this week, we are passing out a plan that includes a reduction in the state’s income tax. It’s imperative that the governor move to a collaborative approach, and work with the Legislature to provide real tax relief for the people of Michigan.”

Runestad called on the governor to work with Senate and House leadership to expedite and pass legislation to provide meaningful relief to working families and seniors, including SB 467 to cut taxes on all senior income.

“According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 14 states cut taxes last year,” Runestad said. “This year, Mississippi has already had a first-chamber vote to phase out individual income tax, and Indiana House Republicans have signaled they’re going to cut individual income taxes to 3% and eliminate the business PPT. There is no excuse for continuing to overtax Michigan residents. Government works best when the people are not overtaxed and can make their own decisions on what they want to support with their hard-earned dollars.”

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