Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a bill Friday sent to her by the GOP-controlled Legislature to cut the state income tax rate. She said the bill was fiscally irresponsible compared to other options to help families cope with fuel costs and runaway inflation.
The veto was no surprise since Whitmer defeated a similar bill earlier this year. Whitmer supported a sales tax exemption or one-time tax refund. She says it won’t blow up future budgets once the current surplus is gone.
In his veto letter, Whitmer also took issue with the process used by Republican leaders to fast track the bill to his desk:
“The constitutional flaws of this rushed process are both glaring and obvious. The bill was passed in blatant disregard of constitutional rules meant to protect the right of Michigan residents to evaluate proposed laws and have their voices heard before those laws are passed.
Whitmer said the bill has been amended to the point that it is a “general change” from its original purpose of extending a tax filing deadline. She said it violates the Michigan Constitution and is also a key reason to veto the bill.
But Whitmer also opposed efforts that would permanently cut revenues that support state services.
Republicans responded to the veto by accusing Whitmer of ignoring families struggling with the rising cost of living.
“It’s not over,” said Rep. Matt Hall, who chairs the House Tax Policy Committee.
“We continue to try to relieve record inflation and high prices at the pump, but the Governor continues to deny it and deny the people we represent the help they need. We actually took her suggestions from her previous veto and included the things she said she wanted in this plan, but apparently that wasn’t enough to change her mind and convince her that Michigan families don’t shouldn’t continue to fall further and further behind with each monthly bill. .”
In his veto letter, Whitmer called on legislative leaders to meet in the coming days to discuss ways to provide financial relief to taxpayers.
“I look forward to meeting with you in the coming days to discuss the next steps in a comprehensive approach to supporting Michigan’s working families. With billions in additional income and a growing economy, we have a historic opportunity to negotiate a balanced bipartisan budget that provides real relief from inflation now.