LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Wednesday voted for legislation to preserve the personal exemption on the state income tax, provide additional relief for Michigan taxpayers and eliminate the state’s driver responsibility fees (DRFs).
“Michigan’s economy continues to grow, create jobs and generate more in state revenue — and it is time to provide hardworking Michigan families with well-earned tax relief,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “With this reform and relief, Southwest Michigan taxpayers will be able to continue claiming the personal exemption on their state and local income taxes while also keeping more of their own money.”
The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act simplified the tax code, lowered tax rates, doubled the standard deduction and increased family tax credits. However, in streamlining the exemption process, it effectively ended the federal personal exemption. Since the state personal exemption is based on the federal return, a revision to state law is required.
Senate Bill 748 makes necessary changes to maintain the state personal exemption and also boost the exemption by an additional $600 to $4,900 by 2021. SB 750 would ensure that Michigan residents can continue claiming the personal exemption on their city income taxes.
“I supported this responsible and affordable reform to prevent an unnecessary tax hike on Michigan families and also put more money back into their pocketbooks,” Proos said.
Proos also supported legislation to eliminate assessment of new DRFs as of Oct. 1, 2018 and forgive any outstanding DRFs.
“Driver responsibility fees unfairly punish Michigan drivers for violations that have already been penalized,” Proos said. “The fees have made it difficult for many residents who made a mistake to regain their license and get back to work, which has had an enormous negative impact on working families and the ability of Michigan businesses to find available skilled workers. It is time to end this punitive policy and provide relief and options to drivers with outstanding fees.”
House Bills 5040, 5041, 5043, 5044, 5046 and 5079 and SBs 613 and 625 also include a reform to enable drivers who cannot pay their fees to get their license back immediately by paying off the DRFs through a workforce training program.
Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.