The Livingston County Republican Party has passed a formal censure motion against state Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Linden) for his vote to approve a tax overhaul for retirees and low-income residents.
Earlier this month, Rep. Mueller was the lone Republican to vote for a tax package proposed by majority Democrats that boosts the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 6% to 30% while also repealing Michigan’s tax on pensions.
Mueller said in a Facebook post that he crossed the aisle to vote yes in order to “give working families, first responders, teachers and seniors a tax break that is meaningful enough to have an impact and not just a political win.”
However, the Livingston County Republican Party (LCRP) saw it differently, saying Mueller had joined Democrats to “cheat Michigan taxpayers of (a) Constitutionally apportioned tax cut.” The censure motion, dated March 2, also formally requested that Michigan House Minority Leader, Representative Matt Hall (R-Comstock Twp.) remove Mueller from the Michigan Republican Caucus for his vote.
For his part, Mueller said he saw his position as a law maker as twofold: get results for his community, and better the state as a whole.
“I chose relief for all working-class people over toeing the party line and progress over partisanship,” he posted. “If more lawmakers would choose to make the tough decisions instead of constantly worrying about getting reelected, our state would move forward in a more civil manner.”
The LCRP said the vote “robbed Michigan taxpayers of $9 Billion and transferred the funds for government spending which includes 1.5 Billion in corporate welfare. This egregious vote also authorizes a targeted partial repeal of Michigan’s retirement tax law for Union member state employees only; and it only provides single taxpayers a meager $180, and a scant $90 to each married taxpayer, to avoid the mandatory income tax cut.”
Mueller said the income tax rollback would have supplied $200 in relief to those making $100,000 a year, while working-class families making $30,000 a year would only save about $60 annually.
Meanwhile, the repeal of the retirement tax would save 500,000 households roughly $1000 annually while the EITC boost would provide 700,000 households roughly $549 in savings each year.
“As an elected representative, it is my responsibility to put the residents of my district above all other interests and that’s exactly why I supported legislation to provide tax relief and eliminate the retirement tax for police and fire as well,” said Mueller. “I will always push politics aside in favor of delivering for the people I represent. In a state where the majority party has been determined by less than a few thousand votes over the past few elections, it would suggest the people want progress and cooperation over partisan politics. I voted yes because it was the right thing to do.”