Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants to make more homeowners eligible for a tax credit worth up to $1,200 and to issue refund checks this year.
The Republican governor on Wednesday called for restoring the Homestead Property Tax Credit to additional homeowners. The tax break would be retroactive to last tax year and continue into the future.
The credit's available to homeowners with household income below $50,000 and whose home's taxable value is below $135,000. Snyder would raise the income threshold to $60,000 and change a calculation so qualifying homeowners get more money back.
In 2011, he made many households ineligible for the break as part of a business tax cut. Some Republicans say Snyder's plan is too modest and he should back a permanent cut in the income tax rate.
Snyder is also calling for a small increase in spending to maintain roads and bridges after his proposed permanent increase in fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees stalled last year.
Snyder asked lawmakers to set aside roughly $250 million from a projected budget surplus for the transportation budget.
More than half would help the state secure a federal funding match. The remaining $115 million in additional money for road and bridge projects is about half the one-time boost that occurred in the current budget year.
Snyder has previously dialed back expectations of a permanent road funding solution this election year. Michigan last raised the state gasoline tax in 1997 and it's a third rail of sorts for legislators worried about the political fallout.
Highlights of the recommended budget include:
Educating our Children
Ensuring a Healthier Michigan
Investing in Job Creation and Infrastructure
Serving Seniors, Veterans and New Americans
Making Michigan Safer
Protecting and Enhancing Our Natural Resources
Encouraging Good Government/Helping Local Government
Maintaining and Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility
The goal is to pass the state's budget by June 1. The state's new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
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