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Barrett bills would repeal pension tax, equalize per-pupil funding

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Tom Barrett on Tuesday introduced measures to repeal the pension tax and equalize per-pupil funding throughout the state.

“I am once again introducing legislation to end the fundamentally unfair tax on Michigan retirees,” said Barrett, R-Charlotte. “When people retire, they need to carefully consider their savings, their income and their expected costs. Michigan seniors deserve better than to have the state continue to tax their pensions — especially the retirees who did not anticipate the new tax during the heart of their working careers.”

Senate Bill 17 would repeal the part of the state’s 2011 tax reform that introduced a tiered structure for taxing retired public employee pensions — commonly known as the pension tax.

Barrett sponsored the same legislation in 2015 and 2017 while serving in the state House.

Senate Joint Resolution B would propose a constitutional amendment requiring that all local school districts receive the same amount of total state and local per-pupil revenue for school operating purposes by no later than the 2024-25 fiscal year.

“All Michigan students should be given the equal opportunity to learn,” Barrett said. “The education of every Michigan child is important to our future, yet not all our schools receive the same amount of per-pupil funding from the state to teach our kids. We must finally end the wide disparity between our highest- and lowest-funded school districts.”

If Barrett’s resolution is approved by two-thirds of the Legislature, the amendment would be submitted to the voters for final approval.