LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A bill before the Michigan Legislature would give people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 a tax break.
The bill’s sponsor said it would encourage more people to get their shots and help the state reach its 70% goal as rates slow in the face of hesitancy.
“We will be incentivizing the vaccine hesitant folks in Michigan,” state Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, said. “It’s important to find creative ways to get people to the table. I think this is one solid idea that’s proving to work.”
If House Bill 5031 is passed, vaccinated people ages 16 and up would qualify for a $100 tax credit with a maximum credit of $400 per household. A copy of your vaccination card would serve as proof when you file your state income tax return.
Hood said Maryland has a similar incentive. She said Michigan could pay for the program with billions in federal pandemic relief dollars coming into the state.
As of Friday, nearly 61% of Michigan residents age 16 and up had received at least one dose.
“If we all work together, we can make sure our kids are able to get back on track and that our elderly folks and other vulnerable people are safe,” Hood told News 8 in a Friday Zoom interview. “Making sure we get up to 70% and herd immunity is critically important for our economy and for Michigan’s comeback.”
Concerns about the more contagious delta variant and its impact on the unvaccinated population have state leaders stressing the importance of not waiting to get vaccinated.
“A lot of individuals and families believe that because they suffered through COVID that they may not need a vaccine, but the reality is that the science isn’t quite certain about how long natural antibodies last,” Hood said.
The bill was introduced Wednesday and has been sent to the House Committee on Tax Policy.