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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tricky, Tricky

Watch closely now. The "magicians" in Lansing are about to pull
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
pension tax.
So what?
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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim, thanks for informing us on how low a State Rep. like Mr. Jilberts will go to get his agenda passed. Any legislator who would vote for this tax increase under a situation as you described will face an enormous firestorm from the voters. This will only serve to inflame the public. Legislators like Mr. Jilberts have no respect for the voters of Michigan.

April 26, 2011 at 11:04 AM 
Blogger sam said...

Hey Tim, Good reporting. Never miss OTR.

April 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM 
Blogger Denise D Hammond, CGFM-Retired said...

The fact that the pension tax bills are only sponsored by Rep. Gilbert tells me a whole lot. And then he has them sent to the tax policy committee he just happens to chair for a hearing. Shame on any legislator who is willing to vote for this in any way, shape, or form, when he doesn't have enough guts to put his name on as a sponsor.

April 26, 2011 at 2:22 PM 
Anonymous jdc said...

Hey, Tim, we here in the North Country (Alden) sure appreciate the way you report the insidiousness of our state legislators. No one ever said a person had to be courageous to be a representative. Mr. Jilberts is the living proof.

April 26, 2011 at 7:45 PM 
Blogger marv rein said...

AS companies downside using medical resaon to force high paid Jobs,,to Unskill,,under paid workers,,is another reason Taxing pensions is WRONG,,even through others states,,use this easy way,of increase taxing on the POOR. I can't make up the differ in working,because then I lose my pension.

April 28, 2011 at 8:23 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfectly legit, folks.

Michigan is behind the curve on taxing pensions. If it's a choice on taxing working people, and taking a nip out of those on pension, I'd choose the latter.

They have increased my income taxes over the past 8 years, so the pensioners can take a little bite as well.

April 29, 2011 at 6:09 AM 

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