LANSING – State Representative Charles Smiley (Burton) hosted a town hall meeting at Burton City Hall on Monday, March 5 to discuss the recent tax changes in Michigan that were enacted last year over the objections of House Democrats. Over 50 residents attended this meeting and participated during the event through questions and comments. The new tax structure represents a major shift: taxpayers must now pay a great deal more for state government programs and services after the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax, which meant more than $1 billion in tax breaks for wealthy corporations. In order to pay for these tax breaks, the administration took the unprecedented step of taxing senior citizen pensions. This devastating tax was the event’s focus.

“I want to thank those who attended and I hope it was an informative meeting,” said Smiley. “Taxing the retirement income of seniors, many of whom live on a fixed budget, will prove very harmful to them and our community. I am committed to reversing this alarming tax on some of our state’s most vulnerable residents and have co-sponsored legislation to repeal it. Under House Bill 4818 and Senate Bill 519, this senior tax would be stopped. These bills are pending before the House Committee on Tax Policy and the Senate Committee on Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing, respectively.”

Rep. Smiley has scheduled an additional town hall meeting for Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at Burton City Hall, 4303 South Center Road in Burton. Residents who would like to attend or who want more information regarding this event should feel free to contact Rep. Smiley’s office by toll-free phone at (855) 276-4539 or by email at Residents who are unable to attend can request that information from the event be sent to them.

“I have been contacted by many constituents who were unable to attend the first event because of the time of day it was held so I have scheduled another town hall in the evening in hopes that these other residents will be able to attend,” said Smiley. “Many residents have asked me about what can be done to remove this new tax on seniors’ incomes, and this additional event will inform even more people about the tax and what I am doing to stand up for our seniors.”