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Whitmer Talks Tax Cuts

Gov. Whitmer shifted her focus from COVID-19 to issues like tax cuts and public safety in her fourth state of the state speech last week.

To demonstrate that public safety was a core issue, she highlighted her own time as a prosecutor Ingham County and gave a shoutout to a corrections officer from Marquette when discussing the need to repeal the pension tax.

The governor expressed support for the elimination of the state’s pension tax, which was initiated in the early days of the Snyder administration.

Senate Bill 24 eliminates that tax and is currently awaiting action in the Senate Finance Committee.

The Earned Income Tax Credit, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt, also received a shout-out during the state of the state. “Restoring the EITC lifts more than 22,000 people out of working poverty.” Gov. Whitmer said.

Senate Bill 417 increases from 6.0% to 15.0% the EITC for the 2022 tax year, then by 5% each year until it reaches 30%. The bill received a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee in December, but there has been no word yet on future action.

A Senate committee also passed SB 768, which would reduce the individual income tax rate from 4.25% to 3.9% and reduce the corporate income tax rate from 6.0% to 3.9%. The bill also includes a measure that allows a taxpayer to claim a nonrefundable credit against the individual income tax of $500 for each qualified dependent of the taxpayer.

The measure now goes to the full senate for consideration.

The governor has been amicable to tax cuts in recent months. In December, she signed HB 5351, which increased from $80,000 to $160,000 the amount a small business owner can claim for a personal property tax exemption.

Gov. Whitmer also proposed a combined $2,500 electric vehicle rebate: $2,000 for the car and $500 for in-home charging equipment. No such legislation has been introduced.