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



My property taxes are horrible!!! $2500 per year !! And they just keep going up and up and up and up - What in heck are we supposed to do if just can't pay it anymore???? Why doesn't somebody please put together a ballot proposal to shut that system down! Cap everyone house taxes to $500 bucks -- Period! end of story!.


Following this learned opinion,when you limp out of the doctor's office when he or she won't take your Medicare; when you limp out of the hospital after waiting for hours because you had to wait for hours while people who chose not to buy insurance got ahead of you, when you collapse at your higher insurance costs under Obamacare, when you limp away from the gas station because one side is so much lighter because the high price of gas has lightened your wallet, when you limp away from the grocery store because you waited on line to try to make your dollar stretch behind someone buying junk food with a Bridge Card while they talked on a free Obama phone, "remember to thank Democrat Barack Obama and the Democrat-dominated Senate for your higher tax bill because he redistributed your money to other folks.

Walking Alive

go join FAUX NEWS (L)Imp. I thought this article was about the state, but in true form, you have redirected all of the blame for anything & everything onto President Obama. Try that when your savior Dick raises the gas taxes here. He has (imp)osed heavy taxes onto the people by shifting all the loss from the Business Taxes he dropped, and he is poised to hit you with even more. But keep on beating that O drum of yours.
Obamacare has actually lowered my family's medical insurance costs this year because insurance companies can't go by pre-existing conditions anymore, thanks for picking that up for us.
And we ALL understand that in your eyes all people who have a bridge card are the lowest of low life just playing the system. Heil, now click your heals Dorothy.


Well now, I am happy YOUR insurance rates went down.. its all about you and your family after all isn't it. A lot of us are picking up the slack for those who are choosing to not insure themselves. Yes choosing is the word I used. I choose not to go to movies, out to drink at bars, out to eat in restaurants, not to have expensive cell phones, cable tv... all so I can pay for my own health insurance. If everyone prioritized the important things in life, we would not even need to have this debate. Tell me Walking Alive.. what exactly did FAUX news say about this subject since you seem to be an authority on what they talk about on their channel?


newsblogger, are you serious? REALLY? "those who are choosing to not insure themselves"? REALLY? Are you aware that the average Walmart costs US taxpayers more than $400,000.00 a year because the workers qualify for food stamps and medicaid? Oh and BTW, Obamacare MANDATES PEOPLE TO HAVE INSURANCE! Isn't that the 'ol pull yourself up by yer bootstraps credo of the CONservative? You people crack me up....void of any critical thought, parrot the BS from the right wing talking heads!


I never stated all that are uninsured chose to be.. YOU filled in that blank yourself. I know plenty of people who are not insured but have money to enjoy all the things I go without so I can insure my family. It is a choice for those people.


I believe you are missing the point here.
One of the best parts of this new healthcare setup is the reduction in costs.
One of the biggest reasons we pay so much for healthcare in this country is pure cost of burden medical facilities incur for caring for individuals without insurance or a means to pay.
Now I’m aware the bloat currently within the system but that’s another matter.
By forcing people to have insurance, or by providing it to those who do not have the means we accomplish two things.

1.People as a whole will be healthier. They will be more likely to visit the doctor if they are ill which will help to prevent extreme illness which is always more costly.(a chest cold treated before it is full blown pneumonia is much cheaper)
2.Government Mandates and Buying Power!
If you have an insurer with the backing of the federal government you gain a buying power equal to none. This will help to drive down costs of medical treatment. This in turn will drive down costs of insurance. This in turn makes it cheaper for everyone.

I do not think the plan is perfect. I do not believe we could ever make a perfect plan. I’m not a backer of Obama (registered republican), but I do know that more good will come from this system than bad. And I do firmly believe that no person in this country should ever be afraid of getting sick because of the cost associated with it.


This is entertaining fiction, but beyond that, this has nothing to do with anything, except as a telling composite of right-wing lies, as Obamacare was originally a Republican idea from 1989.

I would like to point out that the "free Obama phone" you so derisively speak of was originally a Ronald Reagan phone plan that W Bush expanded to include cell phones.

Higher food bills can be directly attributed to Bush's push for corn-based ethanol, that drove up corn/grain/food prices world-wide (with virtually no benefits).

And is that Senate so much Democrat-dominated as Republican filibuster-dominated?


Corn is government subsidized and causes artificially low food prices for corn-based products (including high fructose corn syrup). Think about it.


Sorry - not the case....http://online.wsj.com/article/SB...


I just love it! This article is about the republicans ans Snyder screwing you, and you respond with a tirade of absolute lies about Obama. Pretty sad really!


the above post was directed at vlad

The Guy

This was beautifully articulated.

The Guy

I meant Vladtheimp's comments were beautifully articulated.


I think the point, Alive, was to note that we are increasingly being hit from all sides. Local, state and federal taxes keep going up, as are various fees of all sort. The prices for food and gas keep soaring heavenward and, at some point, something has to give. Government spending at all levels is out of control, and the freebies consume much of that spending. There isn't an American anywhere who would refuse assistance to someone genuinely in need, but there are many of us who are simply tired of the fraud, abuse and waste that is rampant throughout any system in which government is involved. And there is no shortage of people who make a living from the generosity of our government. Republican or democrat, Washington DC or Lansing, it doesn't matter. We need some real leadership instead of partisan posturing, or we're going to have huge problems before too long. Certainly our children and grandchildren will if we don't change course. What is occuring at all levels of government is not sustainable.


rainbow, the cost of food is going up because of a drought, a severe drought, but in right wing world climate change isn't happening, despite a million acres of wildfires in 2012, Hurricane Katrina 2005 Hurricane Sandy 2012, the tornadoes that are getting more powerful that they wiped a good chunk of Joplin Missouri and totally wiped Henryville Indiana off the map, I traveled extensively in 2012, I saw more corn that was dead unlike anything I have ever seen before, do you know what eats corn? Cows, pigs, chickens......PEOPLE and CARS. Keep ignoring the evidence as they are predicting another bad year for these crops. YOU CANNOT BLAME OBAMA FOR THE DROUGHT!


Climate change/global warming denial is but another right-wing ploy to stir up paranoia and fear. It's so much more fun to blame Obama (who actually governs more conservatively than Ronald Reagan if you take the time to study it) and the Democrats than actually face facts. Facts can be terribly inconvenient truths, you know.


ROFL!! Now THAT is funny! My kids think this tripe is funny, too!! Please cite your information re Obama being "more conservative than Reagan." Most meteorologist don't believe in global warming - we won't even discuss the falsified data from the IPCC. Facts are inconvenient if you skirt them. Go watch Reagan's farewell address on You Tube. Obama moe conservative? ROFL!!


Glad you got a laugh, but it is true.....here's just one source....http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2...


Patriot, I don't blame President Obama for the drought. I blame him for an incredible lack of leadership and for remaining on the campaign trail. I know last year's drought was a bad one. I drove to the Rockies every three weeks all summer, and the crops in Nebraska and Iowa were parched almost moonscape-like. I know that has affected food costs, but certainly so has increased transportation costs through higher fuel prices. I've been in the middle of several wildfires. Many could be minimized through a return to previous logging practices and/or allowing folks to harvest the millions of acres of beetle killed trees. I don't dwell in right wing world. I consider myself practical.




The Taxpayers Party of New York was founded by Carl Paladino in 2010, with the help of Rus Thompson, Leonard Roberto, Michael Caputo and Gary Berntsen. It officially gained ballot access on August 10, 2010 and fielded candidates in the New York state elections, 2010. - Douglas Andrew


Im all for something new, Andrei. This two-party system just isn't working. Please post some information. Anybody interested in reintroducing the Bull Moose Party? I don't know much about its history, but the name is cool and Teddy Roosevelt was a fine American.


Teddy Roosevelt was a fine president. Much too progressive for the Republican party these days.....but I like your idea of a Bull Moose Party.


It's called dismantleing the middle class. It' the only shot the R's have of winning another election!


Democrat talking points..
Give me a break. The Democrats are trying to make the entire nation dependent on the Government for everything. As Obama has stated, "only Government can fix this".

The problem is the "entitlement" mentality.

Government has overstepped their boundaries, they are trying to control too many aspects of our lives and WAY too many people are willing to give up their liberty to be "taken care of" because they are too lazy to do it for themselves.

It's disgusting. The ONLY way to fix any of this is a flat tax across the board, no loop holes, no credits, no deductions, nothing. The Government needs to back off, quit being an enabler and spending money they do not have.


Lots of regurgitated right-wing talking points. Let's stick with the facts. What you, Boater, are experiencing is the squeeze of the GOP-driven wealth inequality that has made the top 1% wealthier quicker than in any period in world history, while the middle class has stagnated or dropped to poverty status, thanks to Bush's deficit-busting 8 years that led to the greatest recession since the Great Depression.

Actually, this country is operating on the lowest taxes and least amount of revenue than in the past 40 or so years. In the past 4 years, Obama cut all kinds of taxes for the middle class/small business as part of the stimulus to get people back on their feet. And he negotiated a deal to keep middle class tax rates at a permanently lower rate, while raising taxes about 4% on the wealthy top 2%.

"Entitlement mentality" - sure is fun to say, but doesn't mean a whole lot. If you mean people on Social Security and/or Medicare, those are Earned Benefits, not entitlements. If you mean people on welfare, they account for about 11% of the entire Federal budget, versus 24% for Defense.

If you mean "Corporate entitlement mentality", now you're talking. Corporate entitlements are currently about 50% higher in the aggregate than poor people entitlements. This country is set up to benefit the wealthy first and foremost, especially with our tax system. Corporate welfare is a big chunk of government (taxpayer) largesse. And the GOP defends it tooth and nail. Keeping their billionaire benefactors fat and happy is top priority.

1% of the entire US population controls 24% of the entire US wealth. That's the kind of overstepping of boundaries we should be concerned about.


O.K. let's get real, folks. If people think their taxes are too high, state or federal, they should just follow the lead of the Republicans and Conservatives in Detroit and supplement their income by simply not paying them. Half of Detroit property owners don't pay taxes http://www.detroitnews.com/artic...

Since according to Obama the earth will end and all government employees will lose their jobs when the Congress doesn't save Obama from his own Sequester plan, all the IRS tax collectors will disappear (snark).

Your welcome - I just solved your tax problems and used the plan of democrat voters to do it!!!


I applaud your problem-solving skills, Vlad, convoluted and self-serving as they are. Next you'll be "solving" the problem of non-paying Detroit property owners by suggesting they be rounded up and put in the new $41 million dollar prison Muskegon is proposing.


I guess we should do nothing about it and let these scofflaws continue to supplement their Bridge Cards with the money that should have gone to the State? If they are not punished, then my problem solving skills are right on the money, unless you have reason to believe that individuals not paying taxes in Ottawa County should or would be treated differently than those in Detroit.

What say you Lanivan? How should we deal with the non-taxpayers? Strong letter? Public scolding? Higher taxes to provide them higher welfare benefits that should go to current and delinquent taxes?



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