LANSING -- A coalition gathered Friday at the Capitol Rotunda to urge lawmakers not to repeal the earned income tax credit.
"I would hope that we would not want to balance the budget on the backs of poor people in order to give businesses a break," said Gilda Jacobs with the Michigan League for Human Services
The EITC, which went to about 800,000 Michiganders in 2009, is a refund for low- to moderate-income families to help make ends meet -- each applicant getting a bit more than $400 on average in the last cycle, most of which gets pumped right back into the local economy.
"The numbers prove that for every dollar we give them, they go out and spend more than a $1.50, so it has a multiplier effect," says Eric Schertzing, treasurer for Ingham County.
But some here at the Capitol, most of them Republicans, say the EITC simply costs the state too much money -- some $330 million-worth a year.
State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek and his fellow Republicans say they are moving forward with an attempt to repeal the EITC, noting the state is almost $2 billion in the hole for the upcoming budget.
"It's a nice program, but we simply can't afford it anymore," he said.
And yet, proponents of the credit say cutting it altogether would put some low-income families out in the cold, and ultimately place a greater strain on other state services.
"The non-profit sector doesn't have the money or the capacity to make up for what the state isn't able to provide," Jacobs said.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, for his part, has not yet side which side he supports, though members of his party tell News 10 he's leaning toward cutting it.