OTHER VIEWS: Taxpayers feel the pain

When you limp out of your tax guy's office this year — or collapse at the kitchen table after doing your own taxes — remember to thank Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and the GOP-dominated Legislature for your higher tax bill.
Feb 26, 2013

 

In 2011, just a few months after Snyder was elected, Republican lawmakers rammed through a $1.6 billion tax cut for Michigan businesses, paid for almost entirely by $1.4 billion in added taxes on average Michigan taxpayers.

The catch is that most of us won't feel the pinch until we do our 2012 state taxes, which are due April 15 — nearly two years after the change and five months after the 2012 elections.

Most Michigan filers are going to feel the pain, and soon.

The list of changes is long and expensive.

Homeowners and renters alike used to qualify for a credit if their household income was less than $82,650 a year; that's now down to $50,000 but only if their home's taxable value is less than $135,000. That will affect about 400,000 of us.

The number of deductions — the few breaks average taxpayers got — that have been eliminated is long. Gone are the child deduction, special exemptions for seniors and those getting at least half their income from unemployment checks; a refundable credit for low-income workers was reduced, impacting about 783,000 returns.

Also gone are credits for city income taxes, college tuition, adoptions and donations to universities, public radio and TV stations, food banks and homeless shelters.

Tax experts say about half of all Michigan residents who file taxes will see a "considerable" tax increase.

"There's quite a bit of surprise, quite a level of frustration with the increases," said Terry Conley, a tax partner at Grant Thornton in Southfield. "There's going to be some unhappy campers out there."

While they were at it, the GOP-dominated Legislature also put the income tax rate at 4.25 percent; it was supposed to drop to 3.9 percent in 2015 under a previous law.

Retirees took an additional hit last year, when pensions and 401(k) incomes were taxed.

A lot of us will feel the pain. A single parent with two children and $22,000 in annual income will get a refund of about $80, compared to $444. A married couple with two kids and an income of about $55,000 will pay $739 more in income tax. A married couple with two kids and an income of $250,000 will pay an additional $989.

So, with $1.6 billion in breaks and $1.4 billion in new tax liability later, the question is simple: Where are the jobs?

— From the Traverse City Record-Eagle

Comments

Lanivan

Time does not allow any more than this - my problem-solving would have a humanitarian/compassionate basis. I find it difficult to lump all Bridge card,non-taxpaying citizens into the category of criminals/lazy bums/requiring punishment. Laws must be upheld, of course, but, frankly, Detroit political/corporate corruption is far more egregious to me than some poor and/or elderly people not paying property taxes.

I look forward to future problem-solving discussions.

Patriot429

Republican tactic; When the TRUTH comes out, change the subject!

Lanivan

Yeah - this is one area in which they excel. Years of experience with carefully constructed propaganda, fact denial, the glorification of red meat social wedge issues - all designed to hide the fact that us taxpaying citizens are not on their schedules. They must keep us "low-information" so we continue to vote against our best interests.

newsblogger

Says the democrat

rnmedik

This writer probably got an A in English. Too bad he flunked math. 2+2 is never going to equal 7 and yet – if it doesn’t – we blame the guy who can add? We have had a massive erosion in tax base since 2007. Property values are probably down 40-50% statewide. That means property tax revenue is down by roughly the same amount. The question begs asking – how do you maintain the status quo with that big of a drop in income? If you cut any AFSCME or MEA salaries or benefits – you are vilified in the paper. If you lay anyone off – you’re also made out a villain. “Its about our safety!” say Police and Fire. “Its about your child’s education!” says the MEA. No!! Its about money. Everyone wants the Federal deficit lowered and everyone wants our state to operate within a balanced budget – and yet if you ask the guy on the street what should be cut – the answer is (100% of the time) “anything which does not adversely affect ME!!”. So what do you do if you’re the man in charge? You do what is necessary.

Lanivan

The problem is that Michigan and the US is just slowly getting back on it's feet after a devastating, brutal recession of global proportions that was directly caused in part by the Republican administration from 2000-20008.

This is now a grand excuse to start blaming everybody but themselves and attempt to dismantle all those programs that do not directly benefit the wealthiest among us.

The words "deficit" and "government bloat" were never mentioned when Bush was putting 2 wars on the US credit card and at the same time cutting revenue in the form of massive tax cuts.

Our Federal/state legislators have one job, and one job only. The problem does not require the dismantling and destruction of programs/benefits/wages. It requires a balance of cutting waste, fraud, corruption, and doing everything possible to create a healthy, equitable economic environment so that people have jobs and businesses grow to increase revenue.

Let's remember that just 13 short years ago the economy was quite good, with 4-5% unemployment, a deficit surplus, and no wars. The biggest priority of the Republicans was spending millions of taxpayer money investigating Bill Clinton and his dalliance with Monica. Those were the good old days!!

Back to the Wall

Lani,
Please quantify "earned benefits" in the context of social security an/or Medicare.
Thank you.

Lanivan

I'll try, but I'm not clear on the "quantify" part of your request??

Lanivan

I'll try, but I'm not clear on the "quantify" part of your request??

rainbowjoe

Left wing or right wing, democrat or republican, Washington or Lansing, it's all the same. Our republican governor wants to raise taxes as does our democrat president, and we argue and comment here and recite their tired talking points to each other. It is crystal clear that government meddling and spending simply has to be curtailed. Just a couple months ago, all of us had to adjust our family budgets when our tax rates went up, so how come the government can't do the same? The amount of waste in government at all levels, our tax dollars, is obscene. I have seen it. All of us have seen it. I want some real reform before I willingly cede any more of my dwindling income to the ever voracious black hole that is government.

Psmith

to bad a march could not be organized to show our dissaproval for our government like in lansing i would be in for sure

Wingmaster

Drop all the crap and talking pts people. ..what do you do with your personal budgets when your pay check does not grow or is cut....quit spending...end of story! Both parties are guilty of the mess. So now what? Keep pushing the same ole tired agendas! Time for new blood running all levels of the country.

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