LANSING – State Representative Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) said today that she will introduce legislation creating a $400 per-child tax credit for each child age 13 and under in households with income less than $100,000. The bill is part of a Democratic package to strengthen Michigan’s middle class and reverse one of the largest tax shifts in Michigan history.

“Too many families are working hard, yet still struggling with wages that never seem to increase while paying more in taxes and more for food and other necessities,” said Chang. “A $400 tax credit for younger children will put more money back in the hands of parents to help them pay bills, buy things their kids need or start a savings account for their kids’ education.”

Chang’s $400 per-child tax credit could save a family with two young kids $800. That’s money that could help buy food to put on the table, school clothes, winter coats and boots, or books to help kids be better readers.

“The tax shifts that have been enacted by legislative Republicans over the years have hit families hard,” said Chang. “My bill, along with other tax credit and deduction bills for families will make it a little easier to raise their kids and help them succeed in school and life.”

In the year 2000, median income in Michigan was $61,500. By 2013, it was down to $48,000 – a drop of almost 25 percent. It has become harder for middle- class and lower-income families to make ends meet, keep a roof over their head and raise kids.

Called the Blueprint for Michigan’s Families, the other bills, in addition to Chang’s, target the rising costs of raising a family and paying for college by establishing:

  • A new dependent care tax credit to help families with working parent(s) offset the cost of child care or caring for an elderly parent.
  • An expansion of the Homestead Property Tax Credit to families making up to $100,000, up from the current limit of $50,000.
  • A senior deduction that exempts the first $2,300 in income from taxation for residents age 65 and older.
  • A College Affordability Tax Credit of up to 50 percent of the amount paid on state and federal higher education loans for any employed Michigan resident.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass these bills and give middle-class and lower-income families much needed tax breaks,” said Chang.