Senator Brandenburg District Update

Senate bills accelerate “sales tax on the difference”

Buying a vehicle is a major investment for most people so saving money where possible helps make the purchase more affordable.

I recently supported Senate legislation to speed up the phase-in of sales tax relief when consumers trade in their car to buy a new one. Under Senate Bills 94 and 95, the current $500 annual increase in tax relief would apply through 2018 and then the tax value would:

  • Increase to $5,000 beginning Jan. 1, 2019; and
  • Increase each year by $1,000 beginning Jan. 1, 2020 until the value is capped at $14,000 in 2028.

The legislation improves a 2013 state law by making tax savings more substantial for car buyers and providing a quicker boost to the state economy.  Both bills have been referred to the House Committee on Tax Policy.


Sen. Brandenburg supports new law to license autism therapists

April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to gain a better understanding of the disorder. Approximately 50,000 individuals living in Michigan have autism spectrum disorder. Early, accurate diagnosis and appropriate therapy are vital to ensure children and others receive the services they need to improve their quality of life.

Senate legislation recently signed into law creates a professional license for autism therapists. Public Acts 403 and 404 of 2016 establish an occupational license for behavioral analysts and assistant behavioral analysts, and create a state board to oversee the profession. The licensure requirement will increase the state’s ability to attract and retain qualified providers, and make it easier for specialists to be reimbursed by insurance providers.


Website allows taxpayers to check on tax refund

Taxpayers can check on the status of their state income tax refund by going to E-filers can check two weeks from filing while paper-filers can check from four to six weeks after postmarking.

To ensure privacy and security, taxpayers need to provide their social security number, tax year, filing status and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Total Household Resources (THR). The AGI is located on line 10 of the MI-1040; THR is found on line 33 of the MI-1040CR.

The Department of Treasury reports that in 2016, 3.7 million individual tax returns provided more than $1.8 billion in refunds.


Be prepared for severe weather

A Michigan spring can bring fast-changing weather conditions, including thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes.

Sever Weather Awareness Week, held April 16-22 this year, encourages Michigan residents to prepare for any weather-related emergency. Visit to find an information packet on tornado and thunderstorm safety, lightning safety, flood preparation and planning, even disaster preparedness for pets. The site also includes checklists for home and auto emergency preparedness.