It appears a budget deal between Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature’s Republican leaders could include an election year tax cut. An early version of the proposal would accelerate a drop in the state income tax rate and increase the personal exemption.
The governor and G.O.P. leaders have been meeting to put the finishing touches to a budget deal with an eye toward wrapping up their work by the end of next week.
Snyder says he was skeptical at first, but he says revenue projections look promising enough to at least start talking about a tax cut for individuals and families.
“The way I view it is I’m a taxpayer, too, and if I could get a little more relief, I’d be happier about it,” he says.
Snyder says his support for an income tax rollback hinges on the state first paying down a big chunk of its debt and putting more money into its “rainy day” savings.
Democrats say the talk of an income tax cut is an election year conversion for Republicans.
State Representative Rick Hammel, the House Democratic leader, says he could agree to a tax cut that targets individuals and families. But he calls this an election year conversion for Republicans, following a series of tax reductions for businesses that have forced families to pick up more of the tax burden.
“We’ve done great harm to middle class and working families with some of the decisions that were made in tax policy and here we are within six months, less than six months from an election and we’re going to start talking about helping middle class families. That should have been done a year and a half ago,” Hammel says.
Last year, the governor and the Legislature cut the state’s main business tax while ending a dozen tax credits and exemptions for individual filers.