Gov. Rick Snyder defends pension tax plan, and tax breaks for big businesses in 1-on-1 interview with NBC25

Gov. Rick Snyder defends controversal budget proposals in a 1-on-1 interview with NBC25. / Mike Horne

UPDATE: Wednesday March 16th 5:15pm

Thousands of union members protest Governor Rick Snyder's budget proposal in Lansing. Click here for the complete story.

Governor Rick Snyder has taken plenty of heat from a variety of interest groups in recent weeks ever since unveiling his bold $45-billion budget recommendations which contain major government reforms, controversial spending cuts and taxing changes.

Snyder TMs proposal to tax pensions has drawn the ire of retirees and seniors like Delphi retiree Gary Bates of Flushing who alleged that the governor was hanging retirees and seniors out to dry while giving big tax breaks to big corporations. I TMd ask him to resign, Bates told NBC25 in February.

Bates is not alone in his outrage. The AARP of Michigan pledged to fight Snyder TMs recommendations tooth and nail as it works it TMs way through the state legislature. Snyder sat down with NBC25 to set the record straight on his proposals, and provided an in-depth defense of the budget.


The pension proposal on the table calls for taxing pensions at $40,000 or above. Experts say a person could pay about $1,700 on a pension worth $40,000. Snyder said removing the exemptions only makes the system more fair for other taxpayers.

We have an aging population in our state so we are going to have more and more people in that circumstance of having pensions or being retired and you have to ask yourself the question whose going to pay the load of our government? That load then shifts to working people, young people, young couples and young people just getting out of college.

Do we really want a situation that at some point you TMre asking all of your young people to pay for your seniors rather than saying we TMre simply paying our fair share? That may be a problem that might not be there today, but I don TMt believe in simply kicking the can down the road.

In addition, Snyder said seniors and retirees will actually get a break under his plan by not having to file a Michigan Income Tax return on social security benefits.

Taxes on business

Snyder admits he is helping big companies too by proposing an end to the Michigan Business Tax, but not at the expense of anyone else and attempted to set the record straight.

I think part of our message to everyone is we TMre cleaning the board in terms of credits, deductions, loopholes, subsidies (and) all of those kinds of things to say it TMs time to be simple, fair and efficient. If you TMre a regular corporation, you TMre going to pay 6% which is more than the 4.25% we TMre recommending on the individual side (which would be decreased from 4.35%).

Click on the video link to hear what Snyder had to say about his proposed $500 million in cuts to education spending. Feedback: What do you think? Has your opinion changed on the governor TMs budget proposals since his initial presentation in mid-February? Comment below and share your thoughts!

Also, read our story on Snyder's call for government reform