Column: Time to repeal income tax hike
President Donald Trump and the Michigan Republican delegation in Congress gave hard-working taxpayers and job-providers some much needed relief at Christmas time. The historic “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” will reduce the tax burden for a family of four earning $75,000 by $2,000 per year. This is significant money that can be used by families to pay the mortgage, make a couple car payments or pay off some bills. The tax cut also makes businesses and workers more competitive by bringing down rates and providing incentives for investment in new equipment, technology and factories. American businesses will no longer shoulder a higher tax burden than their counterparts in China and other countries.
Economists are already predicting that America’s new tax code will result in businesses bringing jobs back to our country. In fact, there has been a flood of news reports of American companies providing bonuses and pay raises to their workers because of the GOP tax cuts. This is the most exciting reform of the tax code since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and I was proud to support the efforts of President Trump and our courageous Michigan congressional delegation to make it happen. I firmly believe this long overdue tax reform will lead to stronger growth, higher paychecks and more jobs.
But we need tax reform here in Michigan, too. I believe we must move quickly to cut taxes here, as has been done in D.C., to put more money in family budgets and rapidly increase Michigan’s ability to compete and win against faster-growing states. I have been an aggressive voice in calling for our state legislature and administration to take action now.
Incredibly, eight years after she left office, taxpayers are still paying former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s income tax hike. Our Republican leaders in Lansing should axe that tax once and for all and cut income taxes by at least 10 percent, back to where they were before Granholm— or lower. Doing so would bury the legacy of Jennifer Granholm’s Lost Decade when her economic mismanagement and rampant tax increases combined to drive Michigan’s unemployment rate to a staggering 15 percent.
If Granholm’s income tax hike isn’t repealed this year, I will make doing so my first and immediate priority as governor. But providing an income tax cut would be a down payment on a larger strategy to enhance Michigan’s competitiveness and boost the take-home pay of working families. As a conservative, I know that Michigan’s families will do better if our people and businesses are empowered to keep more of what they earn.
I am committed to leading a top-to-bottom review of Michigan taxes and fees, bringing together the best economic minds in our state and the best growth strategies from around the nation, to create a new tax structure that is singularly focused on making Michigan the growth state, paycheck state and jobs state.
For example, as a candidate for governor I have signed Americans for Tax Reform’s Pledge to oppose all tax hikes. I take this commitment very seriously, but I am not only interested in avoiding the job-crushing tax increases we endured during the Granholm governorship. I want to create a legislative environment in Lansing where we can cut taxes or state fees so citizens paychecks last longer each month.
This is how Michigan can reach higher and our state can become a magnet for people who want to plant their flag, start new businesses and raise their families in our beloved state.
We have improved since the Lost Decade of the Granholm era, but now the question before us in 2018 is how we reach higher. How do we become number one nationally? I believe the answer is with a proven and trusted advocate for lower taxes who will make Michigan an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
Bill Schuette is attorney general of Michigan and a Republican candidate for governor.