a "nothing-up-my-sleeve" trick to make it easier to pass the governor's
wobbly modified pension tax.
In trouble from the get go, the governor's so-called compromise
on the unpopular tax on retirement checks is not doing much better
which is why the chair of the House Tax Policy committee is taking a
back door route to enact it.
Instead of an up or down vote on the merits of the pension tax
itself, which could mean almost certain defeat, Rep.Jud Gilbert
(R-Algonac) wants to tuck it into the governor's plan to revamp the
Michigan Business Tax.
That means if lawmakers vote yes on the new 6% corporate business
income levy, they are at the same time automatically approving the
This slight-of-hand maneuver is designed to give some cover for
lawmakers who are antsy about backing the pension concept and fear
voter back lash at home.
Here's how it works. They vote for the business tax and when
constituents complain about the pension tax going on, too, lawmakers
can say, "I had no choice. We need to revamp the business tax in order
to make the economy grow and unfortunately included in the bill was the
pension tax. I did not put it there and would have preferred that it
not be in there, but what was I to do?" (cue the alligator tears.)
Now there is some chatter that combining the two ideas into one
bill may be illegal but Gilbert does not seem concerned and forges
ahead setting up a possible court challenge if this scheme works.
That's the risk, but magic is always risky.