The Associated Press June 15, 2011, 7:11PM ET

Michigan Supreme Court will hear pension arguments

The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted Gov. Rick Snyder's request to review the constitutionality of some provisions in a new state law that will change how pensions are taxed.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 7.

Snyder signed the sweeping tax law last month. His request for a Supreme Court advisory opinion effectively could pre-empt any court challenge on the law filed by opponents such as public employee unions. It also would let Snyder and lawmakers know if changes would be needed to state law.

Snyder's spokeswoman Sara Wurfel reiterated Wednesday that the administration considers the changes to be constitutional. Wurfel said the governor asked for the review because he "felt it was important and appropriate to get this process fast-tracked so it wouldn't be held up in court for the next several years."

The new law will end income tax exemptions for some types of retiree income including pensions. Eligibility to continue existing exemptions would be based on when a taxpayer was born, among other factors.

The retiree income tax proposal was one of the most hotly debated issues in the Legislature since Snyder became governor in January.


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