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Whitmer cites constitutional issue in veto of $2.5 billion tax cut bill

Gov. Whitmer vetoed House Bill 4568 on Friday, citing a Constitutional violation.
Credit: AP
FILE - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the first round of Michigan Mobility Funding Platform grants on Sept. 15, 2021, at the GM Mobility Research Center at Kettering University in Flint, Mich. The plot to kidnap Whitmer represents a growing anger in U.S. politics, and violence – both physical and non-physical – that is disproportionately aimed at women elected officials and candidates, and particularly women of color. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP, File)

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a major Republican authored tax cut bill on Friday that was recently passed with some support from Democrats.

House Bill 4568 proposed a $2.5 billion tax cut for Michiganders that would focus on giving tax breaks to seniors, families and others.

The legislation was originally introduced in March of 2021 as a bill that would extend the tax filing date for Michiganders by a month, but was later changed into a tax cut bill.

In May of 2022, the bill was amended to include a change to the tax code that would provide tax breaks to Michiganders. The amended bill would later pass is both the Michigan House and Senate.

Whitmer vetoed the amended legislation on Friday saying that the changes to the bill made its passage unconstitutional.

"Here, the 'total content' of the bill that has been presented to me—a broad change to the tax code—does not reflect the bill’s 'original purpose,' which was to extend a tax filing deadline," Whitmer wrote in a letter to the Michigan House of Representatives.

She notes that the new bill doesn't even contain a taxpayer extension, which was the original purpose of the bill.

"The constitutional defects of this hurried process are both glaring and obvious. The bill was passed in open disregard of the constitutional rules that are meant to protect Michiganders’ rights to evaluate proposed laws and make their voices heard before those laws are adopted," Whitmer added.

Republican lawmaker Rep. Matt Hall was disappointed in the governor's veto of the bill.

“We keep trying to provide relief from record inflation and high prices at the pump, but the governor keeps turning it down and denying the people we represent the help they need. We actually took her suggestions from her previous veto and included things she said she wanted in this plan, but apparently it wasn’t enough to change her mind and convince her that Michigan families shouldn’t keep falling further and further behind with each monthly bill,” said Hall.

Whitmer did veto similar legislation in March when she vetoed Republicans' proposal to permanently cut the state income tax, make more seniors eligible for deductions and restore a child tax credit, saying it would strip funding for basic government services.

In Whitmer's letter to the legislature she says that she has put forward a plan to provide economic relief for Michiganders. She says that her plan to, "roll back the Retirement Tax will save half a million seniors an average of $1,000 per year. And my plan to triple the Earned Income Tax Credit will put nearly $3,000 in the pockets of 730,000 working families."

Whitmer is optimistic that the Michigan legislature can compromise and come up with a plan that can be beneficial for all Michiganders.

"We have a remarkable record of collaboration. We should build on that momentum and stay focused on growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and delivering on kitchen-table issues. Over the last couple of years, we have funded schools, built roads and bridges, and protected public safety," Whitmer wrote.

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