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Michigan Democrats unveil tax relief plan for seniors, working families

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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan Democrats unveiled a tax relief plan aimed at cutting costs for senior citizens and working families across the state.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined leaders of the new Democrat-led Michigan Legislature on Thursday to announce bills that would roll back the state income tax in retirement income and increase the Working Families Tax Credit.

"Rolling back the retirement tax and boosting the Working Families Tax Credit will offer real, immediate relief to Michiganders," Whitmer said. "We will get these tax changes to put money back in people's pockets done in the weeks ahead."

Michigan's budget for the current fiscal year includes an estimated $7 billion surplus, which Republicans and Democrats planned to use for tax relief. Officials from both parties failed to reach an agreement, however.

Whitmer made similar tax relief proposals last year, when Republicans controlled both chambers of the Michigan Legislature. However, Republicans passed different tax relief programs, which Whitmer vetoed.

Now that Democrats hold majorities in the State House and Senate, the proposals have a much higher likelihood of passing.

"Michiganders can expect that, in the weeks and months ahead, Democrats will continue to deliver on solutions that help improve family budgets in every community across the state," said Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks of Grand Rapids.

Democrats estimate that rolling back the entire tax on retirement income, which began during former Gov. Rick Snyder's administration, will save 500,000 Michigan households about $1,000 per year.

"The state should not rely on retirees to bear the cost of government," said House Speaker Joe Tate.

The proposed increase to the Working Families Tax Credit, which is also known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, would provide an average of $3,000 per year for 700,000 households.

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