Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R) announced this week that Republicans had put together a plan for Michigan road funding by raising part of the money on the backs of the working poor.
“We have to determine what are the core functions of state government and let’s budget accordingly,” Cotter said at a press conference on Wednesday. “This plan is an exercise in reprioritization.”
In all, Cotter predicted that the proposal would raise more than $1 billion for road funding.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the plan anticipates $700 million over the next four years to come largely from economic growth, which experts say is uncertain. Tribal casinos were expecting to oppose a part of the plan that would shift $50 million in subsidies that they currently receive to road funding.
But the most controversial part of the plan was the call to raise $117 million by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides a refundable tax credit for the working poor. In some cases, the credit can be greater than tax paid through withholding, providing the worker with a small amount of additional earnings.
While the EITC is one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the country, it is also opposed by many conservatives.
In a statement obtained by Electablog, Democratic House Leader Tim Greimel blasted the plan.
“Relying on imagined future revenue growth is not a long-term solution that will take us into the future with a solid financial plan to fix and maintain our roads,” he explained. “Raising taxes on working families by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit, while not asking corporations who’ve seen billions of dollars in tax cuts to make a contribution, is a slap in the face to Michigan residents.”
Watch the video report below from WDIV, broadcast May 14, 2015.