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Posted on Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 10:05 a.m.

Irwin and Rutledge encourage residents to get answers on tax changes at town hall

By Ryan J. Stanton

State Reps. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, and David Rutledge, D-Superior Township, are planning to host a town hall on Monday to answer any questions residents may have on recent changes to Michigan's tax structure, including increases in the pension tax.


Jeff Irwin

David_Rutledge_ headshot_2010.jpg

David Rutledge

The event is intended to help community members find out more about the changes, connect with resources that might be helpful as they prepare for the new tax system, and share their thoughts on the new tax burden imposed on Michigan families, according to a news release.

The two lawmakers will be joined by Mitch Bean of Great Lakes Economic Consulting and Felicia Wasson of the American Association of Retired Persons of Michigan.

The town hall starts at 6 p.m. at Washtenaw Community College's Morris Lawrence Building at 4800 E. Huron River Drive.

The state budget cuts approved by the Republican-led Legislature — partly to close a $1.4 billion deficit and partly to finance $1.8 billion in tax breaks for businesses — negatively impacted schools, universities, cities, townships, counties and low-income wage earners, among other groups, while raising pension taxes for senior citizens.

Those changes angered Democrats, but Republicans argue while there's some pain, the result of the changes — including elimination of the Michigan Business Tax — is a state budget that is fiscally sound and that's going to be more attractive to businesses that can bring jobs.

  • Click here to read an article from MLive on the impacts of the tax reforms on individual taxpayers

From the article: "Dozens of changes face taxpayers following reforms lawmakers adopted this year. They add up to this: Individuals should be prepared to cough up more income tax as they carry much of the burden previously shouldered by businesses."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Lac Court Orilles

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Elections have consequences especially when Republicans are elected. Republicans only care about making the rich richer. They don't care about job creation; they only care about creating profits for the wealthy regardless of the consequences the poor and middle class suffer. Republicans do care about cutting off funding that the Democratic party receives from unions with right to work for less laws. Republicans will seduce the poor and middle class just like a fisherman tricks a fish into believing that his artificial lure is real food. Once you're hooked, there's no turning back and the income gap gets wider and wider in this country. Elections have consequences!


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

We need less government not more taxes.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

Hank - Not true and you have been around here long enough to know that. The changes in business taxes were for the 300,000 small businesses in Michigan that the owner had to pay business tax and then personal taxes. The owner still pays his income tax, but now is not double taxed. The average business owner gets $1,800 from the tax bill changes. Ford, GM, Meijer, and other larger Michigan corporations all have indicated they will pay more. Additionally the law closed a large number of loopholes, so the amount collected will increase as those loopholes close over the next 3 years. All - This townhall will present 1 side of the issue, helping these two local politicians get themselves ready for the next election cycle. Enjoy the 1 sided conversation. On Pension taxes - Ask yourself, if you have a 401K is it fair you pay taxes and the person with a pension does not? That is what the old law allowed. For people under the age of 65 in 2010 more than $7,500,000,000.00 (yes the zero count is right) in pension benefits were untaxed in Michigan. Note I said UNDER the age of 65! The changes mostly impact those under 65.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

And, DonBee, "small business", as you know from previous discussions, is equally misleading. The state of Michigan continues to tax C-type corporations but no longer taxes S-type coporations. There are more than a few S-type corporations in this state that are not, by any definition of the term, "small". They are not grandma's candy store nor are they the plumber who runs a business out of his garage and pickup truck. They are corporation with large work forces and large profits. So let's call it what it is: a giveaway for the guv's business buddies. That some truly small businesses might benefit from this is just happenstance. GN&GL


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

Synder and crew has placed much of the tax burden on individuals and off the shoulders of businesses. Not one demand or marker showing the increase in hiring ,just a free gift. Now this same crew wants more from individuals in gas tax and fees. I'm afraid to buy anything or go in debt for fear of additional monetary burdens from the republicans.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

While the townhall is a good idea, why doesn't AA dot com have an online Q&A with these two officials, so more people can participate? Website users could submit tax-related questions (not discussing the politics of the tax changes) and the two officials could answer them online. More people would benefit. Announce this in advance so website users would know when they could submit the questions.

Michigan Reader

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

The two officals (and the other two speakers) answering the online questions for a much wider group of people would probably be overwhelmed. Maybe the crowd of citizens will ask the same questions that others may have, as is typical in a classroom, and the could cover it.