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Michigan voters speak out (again): Don’t raise taxes on working poor families

March 3, 2011

Another survey of Michigan voters has found a strong majority oppose raising taxes on Michigan’s working low-income families to eliminate taxes on 100,000 Michigan businesses.

The Detroit Free Press reported today that by a wide 58-36 majority, Michigan voters oppose ending the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps nearly 800,000 Michigan families reduce their state and local taxes through a refundable credit on their state income taxes

“Michigan voters once again are sending a message to their state lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder – don’t balance the state’s budget on the backs of working low income families, most with children,” said Gilda Jacobs, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Human Services, which is working in concert with a large group of Michigan EITC supporters including the Michigan Catholic Conference, AARP Michigan, Michigan’s Children and many more.

A mid-February survey commissioned by the Michigan League for Human Services, which provided additional information about the EITC to voters, found that 76 percent of voters opposed its elimination.

“The more voters learn about the plan to raise taxes on working families, the more they dislike the idea,” said Jacobs. “When voters find out that this will plunge 14,000 children into poverty, and that EITC money is spent right back in the communities where families live, they oppose it by larger margins than the Free Press poll showed.”

The Michigan EITC recognizes that low-income families in Michigan pay higher property taxes (rental property is taxed at twice the rate of owner-owned homes) and sales taxes (low income families spend a larger share of their income on Michigan sales taxable items than wealthy families). It reduces state income taxes, in some cases providing a refund to families that is then used to pay for automobile repairs, catch up on rent and utility payments, or help meet medical costs for families. It is only available to families who have earnings, and is not a welfare program.

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