Those state tax changes – Are they fair to young, old?

By XINJUAN DENG

Capital News Service

LANSING – Debates about taxes on pensions and the middle class continue to rage in the Capitol with different groups disputing their fairness.

In the run-up to November’s House election, Democrats are attacking changes by the Republican-led Legislature that they say punish middle-class families, including a pension tax, reduced homestead property tax credit, reduced Earned Income Tax Credit and elimination of the $600 per child deduction.

But Gov. Rick Snyder said, “It is important to leave retirement pensions as they are for our citizens age 67 and older. We are able to move forward with a revised plan that still adheres to the principles I laid out with my budget and tax initiatives, will create jobs and protect the safety net for Michigan families.” Continue reading

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More long-term care options pushed

By XINJUAN DENG

Capital News Service

LANSING – Michigan can improve long-term care by providing more home and community-based services as alternatives to nursing home care, AARP Michigan says, but an industry group cautions that nursing facilities are crucial to the state’s health care system.

According to the AARP, 35 states spend fewer Medicaid dollars on nursing home care than Michigan. Those states’ services include aides and nurses who visit seniors in their homes.

Lisa Cooper, manager of advocacy at AARP Michigan, said, “Michigan currently spends only 21.6 percent of our long-term care budget for older adults and people with disabilities on home and community-based services. We spend 78.4 percent of our long-term care dollars on nursing home care.” Continue reading

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