Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Michigan Republicans consider tax breaks for fetuses

By Stephen C. Webster/Raw Story
Michigan Republicans held a hearing Tuesday to consider two bills that would offer tax breaks to any woman carrying a fetus that’s more than 12 weeks old.
Proposed by State Rep. Lisa Posthumous Lyons (R), House Bills 5684 and 5685 aim to allow women to claim their gestating fetus as a dependent on their taxes.
Qualified taxpayers would be able to claim that about $4,000 of their income is tax exempt. A report (PDF) by Michigan’s nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency estimated that the exemption would cost between $5 million to $10 million per year.
Despite Democratic gains across the country on Election Day, Michigan remains in Republican control, meaning it’s possible that these bills could pass. The American Civil Liberties Union cited Michigan last year as one of the leading states for Republicans seeking to curb reproductive rights.
Democrats made Michigan into a key front in their “war on women” campaign after a female lawmaker was banned from speaking over her use of the word “vagina” during a debate on a bill that would have banned abortions throughout the state. Partially as a result of high voter turnout among women, Michigan reelected President Barack Obama by a wide margin and sent. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) back to Congress.
Despite its potential, Rep. Lyons’ proposed reforms could make for an interesting bit of contrast in the next election season: Michigan Republicans voted in favor of a package of tax reforms last session that eliminated a $600 per-child tax credit for working poor families, replacing it with a credit of just $25.

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