What it will take for Michigan residents to get $180 'inflation relief' check, other tax breaks

On Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her plan to get all Michigan taxpayers $180 in inflation relief checks - along with other tax breaks. But it still has to pass both the state senate and house and Republicans in Lansing may be a long ways away from agreeing to the plan.

It's part of a larger plan from state House and Senate Democrats that includes proposals to roll back the retirement tax and boost the earned income tax credit, Whitmer made the announcement alongside House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) and Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids).

Last week, Democrats released the details of their Lowering MI Cost plan, which included three facets:

  • Repealing the retirement tax, which would amount to savings of $1,000 a year for senior households
  • Boosting the Working Families Tax Credit, which would amount to $3,150 in tax returns to low-income residents
  • Sending $180 tax rebate checks to residents, which would come from the state's general fund

The plan still needs to pass both chambers of the legislature before taking effect. 

The checks would be sent for each income tax filing - meaning a couple that filed jointly would receive one check. 

But the checks aren't going out immediately. It will take support from GOP but the initial reaction is like warm, at best.

House GOP leader Matt Hall gave the governor credit for "starting to follow the republican lead on tax relief." Here's what he meant:

  • The governor has extended retirement tax relief to all retirees which the Republicans wanted.
  • She has diverted $800 million from a fund to attract more jobs. That is now going into the $180 one time immediate tax relief, which the Republicans wanted.

Where's not budging, however, is the GOP demand to trigger permanent income tax rate relief.

RELATED: New Whitmer plan would send inflation relief checks to all state taxpayers

Senate GOP leader Aric Nesbit argues the governor's one-time rebate isn't enough as it amounts to $0.49 a day.

The governor counters that her plan is an improvement on the GOP's option, which was $16 over 52 weeks for some low income citizens.

"That's $0.30 cents a week. That's not meaningful relief," Whitmer said.

The check of $180 may seem low but Whitmer says it's going to much more to those who need it the most

"People who are struggling and raising kids or not raising kids for that matter will get $3,150 based on that family working tax credit so its thousands vs. pennies on the dollar," Whitmer said.

So it's going to come down to Whitmer, Nesbitt, and Hall to hammer out a deal. Whether they will - is still anybody's guess. So don't check the mailbox yet.