Republican tax shift making life harder on Michigan middle class and working families

LANSING – Today Michigan Democrats marked Tax Day by taking aim at policies that are making it harder for people in Michigan to get into or stay in the middle class. Democrats also announced the launch of a new website at MichiganCares.com where Michigan families can tell their stories of paying increased taxes because of the Republican tax shift.

“Right now, middle class families and those working to get into the middle class are noticing their tax bill has increased year after year,” said House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D – Auburn Hills). “That’s because Republicans have orchestrated one of the largest tax shifts in Michigan history that has hit families hardest, all so corporations and those at the top can get more breaks.”

“Like a lot of middle class families, my husband and I are working to raise our family and we have to watch what we spend,” said Callie Melton from Casnovia. “But Instead of helping us, my state government in Lansing changed the rules on us and now we are paying more taxes every year. Our leaders need to help middle class families, rather than making it harder on them.”

A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trust shows that median income in Michigan fell from $61,551 in 2000 to $48,273 by 2013 and that the number of people in the middle class fell by 4.3%. Pew defines the middle class as households earning between 67 and 200 percent of the state’s median income.

At the same time, Gov. Snyder and the Republican Controlled Legislature increased taxes on the middle class and working families by $1.5 billion while cutting taxes for corporations by $1.8 billion.

Some of the hardest hitting changes for the middle class and those working to get into the middle class include:

  • elimination of the $600 per-child tax-deduction;
  • elimination and cuts to the Homestead Property Tax;
  • rollbacks to the Earned Income Tax Credit;
  • a new tax on seniors’ retirement income.

“Today we heard the personal stories of families who are struggling under increased taxes. We must, and we can, do more to help them,” said Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D – East Lansing). “Working families need relief. That’s why Senate Democrats have proposed tax credits for child care and student loans, to help give hard-working Michigan residents a chance to get ahead instead of falling further behind. Democrats are committed to building an economy that works for everyone, and this is the first step.”

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