Senate Republicans ask governor to submit contingency budget proposal as court decides fate of her $700M income tax hike

Senate Republicans ask governor to submit contingency budget proposal as court decides fate of her $700M income tax hike

LANSING, Mich.Senate Republican Leader Aric Nesbitt and Senate Appropriations Minority Vice Chair Jon Bumstead on Tuesday requested Gov. Gretchen Whitmer present a second budget recommendation to the Legislature before the Michigan Court of Appeals decides a lawsuit challenging her assumed $700 million income tax increase by March 11.

“If the courts were to provide a favorable ruling for the people of our great state by protecting families and small businesses from an income tax increase, the budget you presented this month would be out of balance,” their letter states.

The Court of Appeals will decide if the 4.05% income tax rollback triggered by state law in 2023 should be permanent as intended or increase back to 4.25% in 2024, as the governor has advocated and the attorney general ruled.

“In addition to a presumed income tax increase on struggling Michigan families, the governor’s original budget proposal irresponsibly raids the state’s pension fund for teachers — this shell game to spend tax dollars down to the last penny for short-term political ambitions is extremely concerning,” said Nesbitt, R-Porter Township. “It is our hope that the governor will provide the Legislature with a more responsible spending plan.”

The letter concludes, “Additionally, your budget irresponsibly spends $670 million that state law requires as payments to strengthen the teacher pension fund, which is still $34 billion in debt.

“In accordance with the state constitution, which requires the presentation of a balanced budget recommendation, we respectfully request that you provide the Legislature with a contingency budget plan to address both the potential outcome where the courts oppose your $700 million tax increase and state law prevents you from raiding the teacher pension fund.”

Bumstead underscored the importance of reaching a bipartisan deal to rein in spending and provide broad-based tax relief.

“The people of Michigan expect us to work together to improve our state,” said Bumstead, R-North Muskegon. “Republicans will seek common ground, but we won’t support unsustainable spending that bloats the size of state government while families and small businesses struggle to make ends meet. I believe we can work together to spend taxpayer dollars wisely, ensure that students get the support they need to succeed in school, keep our communities safe, make meaningful investments in infrastructure, pay down debt and allow families to keep more of their hard-earned money.”


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