By Katy Barth
Gov. Rick Snyder made multiple changes to individuals’ tax forms. Most were eliminations of certain exemptions, deductions, non-refundable and refundable credits.
“It is going to affect the people and the credits that they would normally qualify for,” said Pamela Robedeau, previously a tax accountant and now a receptionist at Liberty Tax Services in Lansing Township.
Among the changes are how much of a credit is given for having children.
Snyder has eliminated the $600 credit for children under 18. He has also eliminated the credit to families who paid for adoptions. If a family adopted a child with special needs they could collect the full credit amount, even if it was more than what they paid in adoption related expenses.
Lansing Township resident Jeff Dice said he thinks these changes will be good for individuals and hopefully distribute tax money more fairly.
“People with four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine kids you shouldn’t be allowed to get more money back than what you put in,” Dice said. “Is that fair?”
Snyder eliminated deductions on contributions given to homeless shelters, food banks and community foundations.
“I don’t have a clue whether that will make any difference in donations or not,” said Joan Chandler, secretary of Plymouth Congregational Church. “It might make a difference in some things, but I can’t think of anything specifically.”
Chandler said it won’t change how she will donate.
“I give just because … to support the church,” Chandler said. “I feel it’s something I should do to help the church or to help someone else. It doesn’t make much difference in my taxes anyways.”
Chandler said the church relies on donations in many ways, such as keeping a preacher on staff.
The church uses donations in ways that people don’t realize said Chandler. An example is allowing non-profit groups to use the church as a meeting space without having to pay a fee.
“We allow a lot of people to come in and meet and it costs a lot of money to keep on the heat and lights and people don’t know that,” Chandler said.
“Obviously some individuals will have to pay more,” said Tom Scott, senior vice president at Michigan Retailers Association. “I don’t see any great effect from higher taxes,” concerning retail businesses.
Scott said he expects retailers to be better off from the tax changes made to businesses.
Snyder has replaced the Michigan Business Tax, which he refers to as a “job-killing tax.” Business owners were being double-taxed since they had to file a personal and business income tax. With the new Michigan Corporate Income Tax a flat tax of 6 percent is applied to a businesses income.
“Businesses will have more money to invest and spend,” Scott said. “My expectation is for it to be better for the economy in the short run and the long run.”
He said he expects business owners to take this extra money to hire more people, open new stores and increase their businesses inventory.
“This helps their business grow and as their business grows they should be increasing their profits and creating jobs puts more tax payers into the system,” said Scott.