Whitmer Vetoes $2.5 Billion in Tax Relief
Previously, she pledged tax relief for Michiganders
Gov. Whitmer has vetoed one bill and has announced she will veto another which, combined, would save Michigan’s taxpayers more than $2.5 billion, despite pledging tax relief in her State of the State address.
She also already vetoed was SB768. On March 3, Michigan’s Senate approved the plan – which would cut individual income tax, expend relief to seniors and create a child tax credit – with bipartisan support. With $7 billion in surplus and another $7 billion in federal funds available, supporters argue Michigan’s taxpayers should get financial relief. Whitmer said that the cut would “blow a recurring, multi-billion-dollar hole in basic state government functions from public safety to potholes” and result in other tax hikes.
Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R- Lawton), who sponsored the legislation released a statement saying “People in every part of Michigan are struggling more and more to keep up with daily expenses and record inflation that hasn’t been experienced in more than 40 years — today the governor told them, ‘Tough luck, you’re on your own.’ This tax relief would have helped each and every Michigander. Unfortunately, once again our governor has chosen to rule instead of serve.”
Whitmer has written a letter stating that she plans to veto HB 5570 as well, which would have provided a temporary hiatus on gas tax. The legislation passed by 24-14 with Democratic senators supporting the GOP-led initiative. The bill would cut Michigan’s state gas tax of 27 cents per gallon through the end of the fiscal year in September. The nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency told lawmakers this would save Michiganders approximately $750 million in taxes.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said the governor needs to work on this issue. “The governor isn’t just a day late and a dollar short on this issue, she’s weeks late and millions of dollars short. Other than writing a letter to Nancy Pelosi, she’s been absent as Michiganders are struggling with record-high gas prices. Now she’s proposing a half-measure that won’t save drivers as much as the bill we’ve already passed.”
“If the governor really wants to help Michiganders, she’ll tell Senate Democrats to support immediately suspending the gas tax. Then we can talk about doing away with the sales tax on gas once and for all.”
Vetoes are nothing unusual for Whitmer, whose number and rate of vetoes are nearly – or more than – double her predecessors. Her average of 30.7 bills vetoed per year is remarkably higher that of her predecessors Gov. Granholm (17.5 per year) and Gov. Snyder (14.1 per year). From 1953 until 2018, the record for largest rate of vetoes stood at 8.3% in one year. In 2021, Whitmer’s rate was 17.6%.
Now, she is calling on Republicans to work with her on tax cuts as part of a larger budget discussion.