The state’s budget director says Governor Rick Snyder’s proposal to tax pensions is necessary to keep young people in the state. Budget Director John Nixon says the proposed tax will move Michigan into a sustainable future economy.
“We’re the only state in the country to lose population in the last decade. And when you look at Michigan’s growth projections going forward, by 2030, 20 percent of our population’s going to be retired. And what that means long term for the state is you’re going to be pushing more of the burden on your working segment of the population.”
Nixon says he hears the concerns from seniors who live in poverty and already having trouble paying bills and putting food on the table.
"I understand. We are not trying to go after the seniors who are poor, or who are in dire straits right now. We’re talking about going after a system that really has the people’s ability to pay based on their ability to pay.”
Nixon made his comments on public television’s “Off the Record” program.
Many seniors were at the Capitol this week to rally against the pension tax. Some of them say their families have already moved away from Michigan because of high unemployment and a down economy. Nixon says the pension tax would allow more young people to stay in the state in the future.