BURTON – State Representatives Charles Smiley (Burton) and Jim Ananich (Flint) today at a press conference in Burton called on Republicans to rescind their new taxes on retirees and to restore tax credits to the middle class by supporting Democrat-sponsored bills that will relieve the burden on Michigan families when next year’s tax deadline rolls around.

“Taxing grandma in order to give corporate CEOs deep tax breaks is out of touch with the values of Michigan’s people and is a sham in terms of a job creation plan,” said Smiley. “The new tax structure places a huge burden on seniors after a lifetime of contributing to Michigan’s economy. Now, hundreds of thousands of seniors, many on fixed incomes, will be made even more vulnerable under these Republican tax changes.”

In the past year, the Republican-led Legislature has made many changes to the Michigan tax code that punish middle-class families, including the introduction of a tax on retirement income, a steep reduction in the homestead tax credit, a drastic cut to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the elimination of the child tax credit and tax credits for charitable donations. These changes were made to fund more than $1 billion in tax breaks for big corporations, effectively making Michigan’s poor and middle-class families pay for a hand-out to big businesses. The new taxes take effect this year, which means many taxpayers won’t feel them until it comes time to file tax returns next year. However, retirees have already seen their monthly checks take a hit as the state starts to collect withholdings on pensions and 401(k) disbursements.

“We believe that if you’ve worked hard to earn a paycheck or earn a pension, you’ve earned the right to get a break on your taxes,” said Ananich. “Letting middle class families keep more of their hard-earned money is not only the fair thing to do, but it also gives them the opportunity to support job growth by spending more at local businesses. That’s our economic plan and everyone knows it actually works.”

To correct this wrong, the Democrats have introduced several measures to undo these punitive changes and make Michigan’s tax system fair to everyone. These measures include House Bill 4818 to eliminate the senior tax and House Bill 5407 which would restore the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit for working families to the level it was at before Republicans cut it by 70 percent. In addition, the House Democrats pledged to continue fighting against tax increases on the middle class and seniors every time a new, harmful tax is introduced to the Legislature and have kept Michigan taxpayers aware of the changes through a series of town halls held across the state.