Michigan Supreme Court Has Ruled to Tax Seniors’ Pensions, Make It Easier to Foreclose on Homeowners
LANSING – Former state Rep. Lynn Jondahl joined with a group of Michigan seniors today on the steps of the Hall of Justice to provide the facts about the current Michigan Supreme Court’s disastrous record on senior issues.
“The fact of the matter is that the majority of this Court have, by 4 to 3 votes, been extremely harmful to Michigan seniors,” said Jondahl, who represented East Lansing in the state House for 22 years and serves on the boards of several nonprofit and civic advocacy groups. “Four members of this Court ruled to allow the taxing of seniors’ retirement income, taking hundreds of millions of dollars from our seniors, who have worked hard their whole lives to earn a pension. These tax increases of hundreds of millions of dollars are now paid by seniors in order to reduce taxes paid by Michigan corporations. ”
In 2011, the Michigan Supreme Court majority, including Justices Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra, allowed the taxing of seniors’ pensions (Advisory Opinion, re: 2011 PA 38, No. 143157, 2011). The Michigan League for Public Policy has estimated that Michigan seniors will pay $343 million more in taxes each year because of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Another Supreme Court ruling that negatively affected Michigan seniors was the decision in Residential Funding Co. v. Saurman (No. 143178, 2011). In this case, the Court overturned the Court of Appeals, which had held that the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), a national system created to assist in the sale of mortgage debt, had illegally foreclosed on thousands of Michigan homes. The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision allowed those thousands of foreclosures to go forward, forcing families and seniors out of their homes and eroding property values for all Michigan homeowners.