ROYAL OAK — State Representatives Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak), Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park) and Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) held a press conference in Royal Oak this afternoon to unveil the tax equality website calculator – The Democratic lawmakers held the press conference to encourage residents to visit the new website to learn what tax equality means for them.

“Low- and middle-income families are contributing nearly twice as much of their income in state and local taxes as those in top 1 percent,” said Townsend. “There is no reason a police officer or small-business owner making $50,000 a year should contribute nearly twice as much of their income as a billionaire.”

According to the Department of Treasury, 95 percent of residents would receive a tax cut under their plan to create tax equality in Michigan by establishing a graduated income tax that equalizes the percentage of income everyone contributes in state and local taxes.

 “Typical Michigan families have been hit hard over the last decade by declining income, reduced government services and rising costs,” said Irwin. “On top of that, working families are paying more than their fair share of taxes. This plan would put more money in the pockets of regular people and produce $700 million in new revenue to invest in our state.”

The tax equality website ( allows residents to calculate their tax savings/increase, effective tax rate and percentage savings/increase at the click of a mouse by entering their taxable income and selecting single or joint filer.  

“The tax equality website will allow every Michigander to find out exactly what tax equality means for them,” said Wittenberg. “House Republicans certainly didn’t want residents to know what their 2011 tax reforms meant when they passed the largest tax increase on working families and seniors in our state’s history.”

Randy Block, a Royal Oak resident also participated in the event by calculating his family’s tax results. Block and his wife earned $37,197 in taxable income and would save $465 per year, a 29 percent tax cut. Their effective tax rate would be 3 percent, versus the current 4.25 percent.

“Tax equality would mean a lot to my family, it would help us go on a family vacation or make needed home repairs and give back to our church every year,” said Block. “We believe that taxes are the price we pay for civilization. My moral values tell me everyone should be able to care and provide for their family. Tax equality would make a big difference for so many families who are struggling financially.”

Residents are encouraged to visit to learn what tax equality would mean for them.