MADISON HEIGHTS – State Representative Jim Townsend (Royal Oak) helped nearly 100 local residents find answers to tax questions at a town hall held Wednesday night at the Madison Heights Senior Center. Townsend fielded questions on changes Republicans imposed on Michigan’s tax code, including the new tax on senior retirement income, the reduction in the homestead tax credit and earned income tax credit, and the elimination of credits for charitable contributions and child deductions.

“The people of Michigan are being blindsided by the changes Republicans made to our tax system,” Townsend said. “I voted against these changes and I’m doing all I can to overturn them, but people are already being hurt. It’s important for people to understand how these changes will impact them, and what is being done to bring back fairness to Michigan taxpayers.”

Townsend has introduced House Bill 4818 to undo the tax on retirement income. The new tax took effect on January 1, 2012 and the state is now withholding money for the tax from disbursement checks. Republicans passed the senior tax and other tax increases to pay for $1.8 billion in corporate tax cuts.

At the town hall, Townsend was joined by Sheryl Lucas of H&R Block and Jim Reinert, of Reinert and Co. of Royal Oak and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

“It is clear from comments I’ve heard from my constituents and from what I heard at the town hall that Michigan taxpayers don’t want these changes,” Townsend said. “They are sending the message that it was wrong to make seniors and working families pay for corporate tax breaks. It’s time to undo the damage.”