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Blue $970M, Blue $970M, hut, hut... tax cut: Former QB calls for rollback

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Lansing WJBK -

It should come as no shock to anyone that the guy leading the tax cut parade in this town is from Macomb County.  The county that invented the anti-tax movement.

So there's Sen. Jack Brandenburg, the former football quarterback, calling the signals that include a gradual rollback of the state's income tax rate.

But there are three guys in the huddle that believe that's the wrong call.

The governor's head bean-counter, the GOP chairs of the house and senate budget committees don't like the tax rate cut. And make no mistake they wield tremendous influence on this issue.

Budget director John Nixon, Rep. Joe Haveman (R-West Michigan) and Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw) have not committed to any give back to taxpayers now that the state if flush with a nearly one billion dollar surplus over three years."We should not be going crazy with a tax cut," warns Mr. Haveman.

A tax cut is "not my number one" choice echoes Mr. Kahn.

And Mr. Nixon holds his cards very close to his chest suggesting that a "balanced approach" is needed whereby some of the surplus goes to essential state services such as cops, kids, and college students.

  "To just give it all back would be very difficult," Mr. N. explains.
 But if there is going to be any give back, the trio favors a tax rebate rather than a tax rate cut.

Under that plan, the citizens could get a check in the mail.  Under the Macomb County guy's plan, you would use a lower tax rate to figure your taxes or in other words a back door savings that you will only see on paper.

The three amigos are not opposed to returning some money back to you; after all 2014 is an election year.  But Mr. Haveman advises, "We need to take it slow and steady."  In fact he would prefer action next year not this year.

Mr. Kahn says there are other priorities ahead of tax cuts including the roads and other local projects for individual lawmakers back home.  Some call that pork barrel spending.  He does not.

All of this makes for a very interesting back drop as lawmakers return to town this week awaiting word from the governor on what he intends to do.

Former Gov. Jim Blanchard once accused lawmakers of spending money "like drunken sailors."  It's unlikely Mr. Snyder will inflame the debate with that diddy but he will likely infuse a good dose of "common sense" into this soon to be contentious tax cut debate.

Are ya listening Brother Jack?

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