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Michigan House votes to cancel tax cut, replace it with $180 checks, corporate welfare

13 of 18 ‘no’ votes from Senate Republicans could preserve a tax cut

Awaiting the Michigan Senate on its return to Lansing Tuesday is House Bill 4001.

The House last week approved the bill by a thin margin, 56-53, with one lawmaker not voting. The bill had already passed both chambers of the Legislature. It went through conference committee, where the difference between House and Senate versions were worked out.

The House on Thursday voted in favor of the 36-page bill that resulted from the conference committee. That’s the bill the Senate will take up on its return.

Republican Rep. Mike Mueller, R-Linden, crossed party lines to vote yes with 55 House Democrats. While Democratic Rep. Dylan Wegela, D-Garden City, crossed party lines to vote no with 52 Republicans.

MIRS News reports that Wegela was offered an enticement for a yes vote: The state would retire all of the debt of Inkster Public Schools, saving some residents of his district “hundreds of dollars a year.”

What could save residents hundreds of dollars per year, at least in the long run, is the automatic tax cut that will take effect when the books are closed on the fiscal year. It would drop the Michigan income tax rate from 4.25% to 4.05%.

Mueller and 55 Democrats voted against that tax cut and in favor of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s alternative plan. The plan calls for one-time $180 checks, shifting $800 million to last fiscal year to avoid the tax cut, and creating an ongoing $500 million per year source of funding for corporate welfare.

The Mackinac Center on Thursday condemned the House passage of House Bill 4001.

“Lawmakers should not hide behind a fig leaf of one-time rebate checks of $180 per family to distract people from their votes for this scam,” said David Guenthner, the Mackinac Center’s vice president for government affairs.

Guenthner described the House bill as stealing a tax cut from Michiganders.

Because House Bill 4001 requires immediate effect to pass, and because immediate effect requires a two-thirds vote, six ‘no’ votes from Senate Republicans could preserve the tax cut.

House Bill 4001: The Roll Call Vote. Via Michigan House Journal 9 of 2023.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.