For many Michiganders, $180 inflation checks won't be enough
Michiganders struggling to keep up with rising costs say the recent proposal to send taxpayers $180 checks for "inflation relief" won't make more than a small dent in their wallets.
Driving the news: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer offered more details this week on the Democratic plan to provide immediate relief to working families with relief checks, increased tax credits for low-income workers and cuts to the state's retirement tax.
Details: The checks will be distributed to each income tax filing (couples filing jointly get one check).
- The proposal calls for expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to 30%, up from 6%, as well as phasing out taxes for retirees.
- Expansion of the EITC — a tax credit for working families — would bring an average refund of $3,000 to 700,000 families, while the retirement tax changes would mean $1,000 for 500,000 households, according to Democratic leadership.
What they're saying: "That's a joke," Steve Tompkins of Grand Rapids told the Free Press from a Meijer parking lot. "I mean, my wife and I have set ourselves up pretty good for retirement. It doesn't affect us that much. But there are a lot of people that are living paycheck to paycheck (and) would rather have $500 to spread out rather than $180."
- "I mean it's something to start with, but I don't think it necessarily supplements what people actually need," Eastpointe resident Tim Harris told the Free Press from Campus Martius.
- "We're quintupling what is available, meaning over $3,000 for over 700,000 families across Michigan — that's meaningful relief," Whitmer told reporters Tuesday. "The rebate is on top of that."
Of note: The state's $9 billion surplus will dwindle to around $250 million after the proposals in the new budget proposal, Michigan's budget director said in the governor’s budget presentation yesterday.
What we're watching: Democrats say residents can expect checks in the coming weeks, though it's still unclear whether the money will be taxed by the federal government.
More Detroit stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Detroit.