Mich Supreme Court: Okay to tax seniors’ pensions but not raise taxes on the wealthy

The Detroit Free Press characterizes a move by the Michigan Supreme Court as a “victory” for Governor Rick Snyder. The reality is that it is a solid defeat for the 99% and a “victory” for the 1%. The Michigan Supremes basically said it’s okay to tax seniors’ pensions but not okay to raise taxes on the 1%.

A divided Michigan Supreme Court has given the green light to the extension of Michigan’s 4.35% personal income tax to pensions, one of the cornerstones of the Gov. Rick Snyder-led overhaul of the state tax system that was approved amidst partisan rancor earlier this year.

The court did, however, unanimously strike down provisions in the new tax law that would have phased out the use of personal tax exemptions by wealthier taxpayers. That provision, effectively raising the taxes on higher income earners, is barred by the state constitutional ban on a graduated income tax, the court said.

With today’s decision, the state can go ahead with plans to implement the tax changes on Jan. 1. The new tax on pensions was expected to raise more than $300 million in 2012. It was not immediately clear how much lower that number will be because of the court’s decision to strike down the personal exemption phase-out.

To those of you that are asking what the “Occupy” movement is protesting, THIS is the kind of crap that the “Occupy” movement is protesting. Do we really need to make it any damn clearer?

Adding… I’d just like to point out that these two decisions came in the same ruling by the Supreme Court. Could there possibly be a more vicious stab in the eye of those who aren’t part of the wealthy elite in our society than that?

The Michigan AFL-CIO has issued this statement:

Today’s Supreme Court ruling on Governor Snyder’s pension tax proposal is a partisan decision that will hurt Michigan seniors, and is yet another example of the misplaced priorities of Lansing politicians. The tax proposal would impose $343 million in new taxes on seniors’ pensions, cutting deeply into fixed income budgets and leaving less for Michigan seniors to spend on necessities like groceries and needed medications,” said Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift.

“Raising taxes on pensions while continuing to protect the CEOs and big corporations that have been outsourcing Michigan jobs is going to further our state’s jobs crisis. It will increase the hardship on working and middle class families and on local businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies.

Gov. Snyder and other politicians in Lansing need to stop the power struggles and the misplaced priorities if we’re going to get our state back on track for the 99% of Michiganders. Tax hikes on those that can least afford it is wrong for Michigan. Workers should be able to look forward to a secure retirement, but this ruling puts partisan politics ahead of commonsense values.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

I am a chemist by day and progressive liberal blogger by very early morning and very late night. I live just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan with my lovely and talented photographer wife, Anne C. Savage. I am a vegetarian and an avid organic gardener who loves to cook. I'm heavily involved in county-level Democratic Party activities and am on the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Executive Board as co-vice chair for precinct organizing.
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