Govenor Engler signed H.B. 4812 and H.B. 4852 on January 8, 2001, making the bills Public Acts 393 and 394 respectively.
This legislation allows an eligible taxpayer to claim a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses incurred during the year. Adoption can be a very expensive process so the federal government allows taxpayers to claim a tax credit. These bills follow the lead of the federal government and allow Michigan taxpayers to also claim a credit on their state taxes.
Representatives Mickey Switalski and Gary Woranchak introduced identical bills to create a Michigan tax credit for adoption expenses similar to the federal tax credit. In committee the content of the bills was divided into two parts, with half going into each bill. The House unanimously approved the bills on October 28, 1999 despite opposition for the Michigan Department of Treasury. Treasury opposed the bills based on their standard opposition to lengthening and further complicating the tax code. Opposition by Treasury slowed progress on the bills in the Senate.
The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the bills on October 3, 2000, where committee members expressed strong support for the bills despite Treasury’s opposition. Supporters of the bill promised to work with Treasury and the governor’s office to resolve differences over the bills. The Senate Finance Committee approved the bills on December 5, 2000, while negotiations to secure the governor’s support continued. The full Senate unanimously approved the bills on the final day of the legislative session, December 14, 2000 after indications were given the governor would sign the bills.