02-08-2018 Columns


Bigger paychecks, more jobs, strong economy January marked the first official month of our new tax reform legislation, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, being law. Benefits from this bill are already being felt across the country and right here at home. Many got their paychecks at the beginning of the month and about 90 percent of Americans are seeing higher wages already. That’s not all. In January, we added 200,000 jobs to the U.S. economy and wages rose at the fastest pace in more than eight years. And more jobs are on the way. Pfizer, one of Southwest Michigan’s largest employers, announced that they will be moving back $15 billion to the U.S. from overseas tax shelters. This is just the latest in the good news for Michiganders building off Fiat-Chrysler moving production of their RAM Super Duty back to Michigan from Mexico and DTE energy slashing consumer’s energy bills. All because of our landmark tax reform legislation. It remains one of my top priorities to help spur job creation and economic growth here at home. I’m excited to continue working with my colleagues to produce results for Southwest Michigan families and businesses of all sizes. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is just one more example of how we’re working to get our economy moving, and putting more dollars in your paychecks. To learn more about this and other important legislative issues, please visit my website: upton.house.gov or call my offices in Kalamazoo (269-385-0039), St. Joseph/Benton Harbor (269-982-1986), or Washington, D.C. (202-225-3761).

Tax relief for all Michiganders Legislation providing tax relief to all hardworking Michiganders was approved last week by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House. I was glad to vote for this package of bills, which is aimed at providing income tax relief for families and seniors and will enable people to keep more of their hard-earned money. The bills will continue and increase personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents on their income taxes, while providing additional relief for senior citizens. This is a win for all of the hardworking taxpayers in Southwest Michigan. The state budget is in good shape and our economy continues to grow. The time is right to ease the tax burden and put more money back into the pockets of Michigan families where it belongs. The technical fix related to recent federal reforms saves $172 per person on state income taxes each year, $688 for a family of four. Raising the personal exemption provides an additional $102 in relief for a family of four.

The legislation, House Bills 5420-5422, will: Ensure Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month, and increase the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,300 for the 2018 tax year, with gradual increases reaching $4,800 for 2020; certify taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax will continue to be able to claim exemptions; and help senior citizens in addition to the personal exemption increase by providing a $100 income tax credit for a single filer age 62 or older – or $200 for joint filers. House Bills 5420-5422 now go to the Senate for consideration. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact meaningful tax relief that will benefit all Michiganders. As always, please do not