In the State Capitol, our organizations often advocate on opposite sides of issues. But our two organizations work for a stronger Michigan, and the right combinations of politics, opportunity, and need make it easy to set aside differences in pursuit of the greater good for the people of Michigan.
And as we collectively seek out policies that can have a meaningful return on investment for our Great Lakes State, benefiting workers, businesses and the next generation, increasing the income tax credit earned by the State stands tall.
This isn’t the first time Earned Income Tax Credit has brought together unlikely allies. In fact, this is one of the characteristics of the EITC. The federal EITC was signed into law in 1975 by Michigan’s own President Gerald R. Ford, a Republican and a Democratic majority in Congress, and has continued to enjoy strong bipartisan support. It has been expanded by nearly every president since and has been embraced by the paragons of both political parties, Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.
In addition to the federal EITC, a state EITC based on the federal appropriation was created in Michigan in 2006 under similar bipartisan circumstances. Michigan’s EITC was created under the legislative leadership of Republican Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema and Speaker of the House Craig DeRoche, passing the Legislature with 141 of 144 total votes, and was signed into law by the Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm.
With a Republican majority in the Legislature, Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the governor’s office, and the expansion of the EITC high on the list of priorities for both branches, Michigan is poised to add another positive chapter to credit history.
The expansion of the state’s EITC may be another defining moment in Michigan’s history. As relatively new leaders of long-standing and highly respected organizations with 173 years of combined political and advocacy activity, we believe there is a great opportunity and a great responsibility ahead of us.
In addition to serving our respective constituencies and being a unifying voice for the people and organizations we represent, part of our responsibility is to help shape sound, pragmatic public policy that benefits our entire state. Increasing the state’s EITC responds to the core principles of our respective entities, promoting individual economic security, supporting children, workers and businesses, and encouraging economic activity simultaneously.
One of the reasons the EITC resonates with both sides of the aisle is that it is both anti-poverty and pro-work, and has a two-pronged impact on job providers in addition to benefits for individual households. The EITC has a proven track record of getting people into the workforce, making it particularly relevant at a time when many employers are struggling to fill available jobs. It also helps working families struggling to make ends meet by increasing after-tax incomes, lifting Michigan families above the poverty line, and generating real, long-term positive effects for children. .
Research indicates that families primarily use the EITC to pay for necessities, such as home or car repairs, groceries, new appliances, gas and more. Raising the EITC to 30% would put an average $750 credit in the hands of workers and families who need it most and an additional $443 million for local businesses as recipients spend it on these products. essential.
All Michiganians have a vested interest in the future of our state and the policies that will make it brighter, regardless of our political affiliations, political interests, or personal status. Increasing the state’s EITC will help workers, small businesses and local economies while benefiting Michigan’s next generation. Investing in the EITC offers policy that bridges the political divide and benefits workers and businesses alike. As our elected officials finalize tax changes and budget decisions in the weeks ahead, we hope that increasing the EITC will continue to be the common ground that can help all prosper.
Jim Holcomb is president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Monique Stanton is president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy.