LANSING, Mich., Sept. 8, 2022 — Michigan House Democrats unveiled a six-bill package providing tax relief to Michigan families and protecting workers. Bills in the “MI Pocketbook Plan” would repeal the retirement tax, cut taxes for working families and issue most Michigan families a $500 tax rebate, among other measures.

“Skyrocketing prices have taken a big bite out of families’ finances this year,” said state Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), vice chair of the Labor Caucus. “With a record-breaking surplus in this year’s budget, it’s our responsibility to provide taxpayers with financial relief against inflation and undue tax burdens. The MI Pocketbook Plan contains some bedrock priorities for the Labor Caucus and workers throughout the state. The MI Pocketbook Plan will help families make their rent or mortgage payments, put food on the table and gas up their tank so they can get to work. These are real pocketbook policies that put dollars into household pocketbooks right now.”

Democrats have long advocated for measures such as tax breaks for seniors and working families, and the MI Pocketbook Plan includes an expansion of the working families Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well as a repeal of the state’s retirement tax. Other bills in the package would protect Michigan’s workers by removing incentives for corporations taking jobs out of Michigan and protect employees from payroll fraud. Although it is illegal for employers to not pay their employees, the difficulty of filing suits and low compensation often deter workers from seeking justice.

“One of our most important responsibilities as legislators is to protect workers from exploitation,” said state Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park), secretary of the Labor Caucus. “When employers classify a full-time employee as an independent contractor, that’s fraud. In many cases, employers find that it’s more beneficial for them to stiff their employees and pay a fine than it is to pay their workers. This needs to change, and we have the bills to make that change in the MI Pocketbook Plan.”

Bills in the package include:

  • House Bill 4490: Repeals the retirement tax, which would save 500,000 Michigan households an average of $1,000. (Rep. Angela Witwer)
  • House Bill 4986: Expands the working families Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 6% to 20%, which would lift 22,000 people out of poverty and send 730,000 working class families an average refund of almost $3,000. (Rep. Rachel Hood) 
  • House Bill 6024: Increases the civil penalties for employers who steal wages and benefits from their employees. (Rep. Alex Garza)
  • House Bill 6034: Prevents employers from stealing benefits by ensuring employees are not misclassified as independent contractors.(Rep. Jim Haadsma)
  • House Bill 6097: Eliminates corporate deductions for expenses related to outsourcing to protect and maintain Michigan’s economy. (Rep. Nate Shannon)
  • House Bill 6346: Grants a $500 tax rebate for those filing taxes individually if their income is less than $125,000 or to those filing jointly if their income is less than $250,000. (Rep. Nate Shannon)