Speaker Defends Quick Income Tax Vote After Snyder Scolding

A Republican legislative leader is defending a quick vote to gradually eliminate Michigan’s income tax over 40 years after Governor Rick Snyder criticized the move. Speaker Tom Leonard said Thursday the measure isn’t a “difficult bill to understand” and it’s well known cutting taxes is a priority for the House GOP.

When a committee advanced the tax cut Wednesday, the Republican governor – who has concerns about the budget implications of a cut – issued a rare rebuke of lawmakers by questioning the vote after one 90-minute hearing. Leonard says he’s “disappointed” by Snyder’s criticism. He says both sides of the legislation had their say in the “deliberative” meeting. The House has not yet scheduled a vote on the tax rollback proposal. It would take the tax from 4.25% to 3.9% initially, and then reduce it by a tenth of a percent every year for 39 years until it’s gone.

Leonard spoke after the House majority outlined guiding principles for the two-year term. Priorities include tackling auto insurance premiums and public employee retirement costs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.