LANSING — Last Thursday, the House Committee on Tax Policy approved House Bill 4006, which would eliminate the 2011 retirement tax. While House Democrats have long fought to see the tax repealed, the issue has recently gained bipartisan support, yet it was revealed during testimony by the Michigan Association of School Boards that as it stands, HB 4006 could cost the School Aid Fund as much as $75 million annually unless an alternative funding source is identified. As the bill offered no clear language on financing the tax cut, state Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) offered a solution in the form of an amendment.

“We all want to do right by our seniors and those hurt by the retirement tax,” said Rep. Lasinski. ”But it needs to be done responsibly, and that’s why my amendment would have clarified legislative intent to leave the School Aid Fund untouched while implementing HB 4006. Fixing one problem by creating another is a false choice and one we do not have to accept. This amendment would have protected a student’s right to quality education while still alleviating this unnecessary burden from seniors.”

Rep. Lasinski’s amendment was voted down seven to seven with one member abstaining and all Democrats voting in favor. HB 4006 now moves to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.