Sen. Brandenburg District Update

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Brandenburg’s tax relief bills gets unanimous support

The legislation I introduced to help hardworking Michigan taxpayers keep more of the money they earn passed with unanimous support in the Senate. Senate Bills 748-750 protect the personal exemption on state and local income taxes and deliver additional tax relief to American families.

While recent federal tax reform lowers tax rates and doubles the standard deduction, it also effectively ends the federal personal exemption. Since the state personal exemption is based on the federal return, Michigan taxpayers would be unable to claim personal exemptions on their state income taxes. The bills make the necessary changes to not only keep the personal exemption intact, but also to increase the exemption as well. In 2018, the exemption would be $4,500. My plan would increase it by $100 each year through 2020 and then up to $5,000 in 2021.

In addition, the legislation helps families who provide necessary care for children, elderly parents or disabled family members by creating a new dependent care tax credit.

The bills have been sent to the House for further consideration.

 

 Brandenburg backs override to speed up sales tax relief

The Legislature recently voted to override the governor’s veto of legislation to accelerate “sales tax on the difference” reform when consumers purchase a vehicle. The legislation has now been assigned Public Acts 1 and 2 of 2018 with immediate effect.

The move speeds up the phase-in of sales tax relief when consumers trade in their car to buy a new one. The legislation increases the cap on the trade-in value to $4,000 beginning Jan. 1, 2018 and to $5,000 by Jan. 1, 2019. The cap increases by $1,000 each year until fully implemented in 2028.

Michigan was one of only six states — and the only Great Lakes state — that taxed the value of trade-ins. I am pleased the new laws will help consumers save money when they buy a car.

 

Free Fishing weekend

Anglers, check out Michigan’s annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend! This great event falls on Feb. 17 and 18 this year. All fishing license fees are waived for residents and out-of-state visitors on both inland and Great Lakes waters for the two days. All other fishing regulations still apply.

Visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing for information on special events and activities. A Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Recreation Passport will not be required at any state park or recreation area during the free fishing weekend.

 

Save money: Buy your Recreation Passport when renewing car registration

A Recreation Passport provides easy access to more than 100 state parks and recreation areas in Michigan’s great outdoors.

Starting this year, the DNR is adding a $5 fee when buying the passport at state parks. Motorists can save money by buying the Recreation Passport online at www.expressSOS.com, by mail or at a branch office when they renew their car registration through the secretary of state. When motorists purchase a Recreation Passport while renewing their vehicle registration, it also allows them to access Passport Perks, a statewide shopping discount program. Visit www.michigan.org/dnr-perks to locate discounts by city and category.