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Democrats’ New Economic Plan Could Conflict with Their Proposal to Fix Roads

Democrats at the state Capitol have unveiled a new plan meant to help middle class families.

The proposal would create or increase tax credits and deductions for families, seniors, and college students.

The Democrats did not outline exactly how they would pay for the plan. But they admit it would likely “overlap” with their road funding proposal when it comes to raising taxes on corporations.

“We would love for Republicans to embrace our plans to fix the roads. And if they did that, we might have to scale some of this back,” said state House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills).

But Griemel concedes that’s not likely to happen in this Legislature.

“It’s important to keep in mind that the Republicans have essentially ruled out publicly our plan – or most of our plan – to fix the state’s roads,” he said. “And if that’s the case, we believe that our plan to make corporations pay their fair share should be used to provide tax breaks and tax relief to the hard-working families of Michigan.”

The Democrats’ road funding proposal would increase Michigan’s Corporate Income Tax rate from 6 percent to 9 percent to boost road funding.

Greimel says he hopes much of the economic plan could be funded by renegotiating corporate tax incentives.

Both plans aim to recoup about half of the corporate tax breaks that were championed by Republicans during Gov. Rick Snyder’s first year in office.

According to a release, the Democratic economic plan would create a $400 per-child tax credit for each child 13 years old and younger in a household with an income of up to $100,000 a year. It would create another tax credit meant to offset the costs of child care or caring for an elderly parent.

The plan would also expand the Homestead Property Tax to families with incomes up to $100,000 a year, reinstate a tax deduction for seniors, and create an income tax credit for up to 50 percent of the amount working college students pay on state or federal higher education loans.

“Our plan refocuses and expands tax credits and deductions where they count – on raising a family, paying for a college education, and rewarding hard work,” said Greimel.

Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesperson for state House Speaker Kevin Cotter, dismissed the plan in an emailed statement to reporters, calling it “a ridiculous wish list.”

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

This post is a part of Michigan Public Radio Network.

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About the Author

Jake Neher

Detroit Today - Producer & Special Projects Reporter

Jake Neher is a producer & reporter for Detroit Today

Jake.Neher@wdet.org   Follow @GJNeher

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