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Supreme Court agrees to hear from unions, biz groups on pension tax

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By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-984674.mp3

LANSING, MI –

The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to let a wide array of interest groups weigh in regarding the legality of extending the state income tax to pensions. Governor Rick Snyder has asked the court to cut short any legal challenges with a preemptive ruling. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

The governor wants an opinion from the court before the end of the month. His budget relies on $343 million from taxing pensions, and he wants to avoid months or years of legal wrangling on the question.

The governor asked the court to decide whether the pension tax breaks a promise by the state to retirees and public employees; and whether income limits in the law amount to a graduated income tax - which is prohibited by the state constitution.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week and has agreed to accept briefs from retiree associations and unions that oppose the pension tax, as well as business groups that say the tax is fair because it treats pensions like any other source of income.

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