Statement from state Rep. Brian K. Elder (D-Bay City) on his opposition to the House Republican income tax plan

Thursday, February 23, 2017

“I voted no on this so-called tax roll-back because the hardworking men and women and retirees in my district deserve better than this gimmick. These were not tax breaks for the hardworking people in Bay County. These were billionaire tax cuts that would only help families two hours away, in our state’s richest counties. My people were ‘promised’ $3.75 a week, but 20 percent of the tax cut would have gone to the wealthiest 1 percent of the state. And 20 percent would get nothing because of how they file their taxes. 66 percent of this tax cut would have gone to the wealthiest 20 percent in Michigan. And the vast majority of that would have gone to the four richest counties of the state. The other 79 counties, like mine, would have been left holding the bag with broken roads, fewer cops and fewer firefighters. I had no faith that my people would have ever seen that pitiful $3.75 a week because we have already seen this game. In 2011 they cut taxes by $1.2 billion for the wealthiest in our state. Then, my seniors saw their pensions taxed. When that wasn’t enough to fill the hole, my working poor families got their Earned Income Tax Credit slashed by 70 percent and 400,000 households lost their Homestead Property Tax Credit. Those promising my people $3.75 a week made another promise in 2015. They promised to fix the roads. Then, they raised the gas tax on my people. Then they raised car registration fees on my people. And they promised to use a portion of the income tax to fix our roads. Yesterday they tried to break that promise and that was why I had to stand up in opposition. This so-called tax rollback was nothing but a shell game that would have stuck my hard working people with broken roads, and fewer cops and firefighters.”