First bill introduced in 2017 would roll back taxes

Michigan Capitol Building, rotunda
This file photo shows the interior of rotunda dome at the state Capitol Building in Lansing, Mich.


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — While the transition of power in Washington is soaking up much of the political attention these days, another transfer of sorts is taking place right here in Michigan.

The 99th Michigan Legislature was formally sworn in Wednesday. More than three dozen new members  make up the 110 person body and it didn’t take them long to get down to business with a new legislative proposal that is sure to sparks some interesting conversation.

The new speaker pro-tem, Rep. Lee Chatfield introduced, as the first bill of the year, a measure that would immediately roll back the state’s income tax to the mid-2000s level.

Under the bill, taxes would be 3.9 percent, then each year after reduce by 1/10 of a percent.

It would be a big change in how the state operates.

Chatfield says it would fulfill a promise for more responsible government.

“What we’re returning to is what was previously set by the legislature before 2007 and what it’s going to force the government to do, through the appropriations process which will be fully vetted, is the opportunity to tighten our belt as the people of Michigan have been forced to do over the past decade, Chatfield said. “And I think it’s important that government looks to prioritize our spending rather than continue to take it out of the pockets of our people.”

Another measure in the state Senate would repeal the income tax and replace it with other taxes.  The House measure would rely on gradual cuts to go along with the gradual phase out.

The idea was introduced Wednesday afternoon and faces a long an uncertain process going forward.