Legislators recently considered House Bills 5684 and 5685 which would allow taxpayers to receive tax credits for any unborn fetuses past 12 weeks’ gestation. This pro-fetus tax credit comes on the heels of Republican efforts to slash state tax credits for children last year. What this means is that parents living in Michigan no longer qualify for tax credits to offset the cost of caring for their children, but the state will give them a tax credit for not aborting.
Progress Michigan came out strongly against the tax credit scheme, calling the measure is a slap in the face of the 341,000 children who currently live in high-poverty areas of the state and could benefit from some legislative relief. “Itís clear Lansing Republicans have the wrong priorities by wasting time on these extreme bills,” said Zack Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “This is really a backdoor way of passing extreme personhood legislation, which has been rejected by voters in states across the country. Even worse, this would create a special new tax credit for unborn fetuses, after Lansing Republicans eliminated the tax credit for living, breathing children last year. Itís time for our elected leaders to get their priorities straight and start working together to create good jobs and improve education.”
Robin Marty reports the bill, if passed, would provide about $160 per family while costing the state as much as $10 million in lost revenue. And as both Marty and Pohl note, the price tag for the bill alone proves this isn’t about tax relief but is about restricting, yet again, reproductive rights. I’d tip my hat to anti-choice activists for their creativity on this one — I mean, getting personhood established via a re-definition in the tax code is quite ambitious — if it weren’t so radical and so dangerous.
Photo from abbybatchelder via flickr.