Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – April 14, 2023

  1. Michigan’s “Clean Slate” Law Takes Effect

Michigan’s Clean Slate law took effect on April 11, 2023, up to 1 million Michigan residents will see criminal convictions automatically expunged. Under the law, up to four misdemeanor convictions that were punishable by 93 days or more will be automatically expunged after seven years, while all misdemeanors that were punishable by 92 days or less will be automatically expunged after seven years. Up to two felony convictions can be automatically expunged after 10 years, subject to certain conditions.

Why it Matters: Having a criminal conviction on one’s record can be a barrier to employment, housing and other opportunities.


  1. Income Tax Reduced for Tax Year 2023

For tax year 2023, the state income tax will be reduced to 4.05%, but will go back up to 4.25% the following year due to a 2015 statute that requires a reduction in the income tax when revenues to the General Fund exceed inflation plus economic growth.

Why it Matters: Individuals should see a slight increase to their take-home pay, but it will not last for long as the income tax rate will go back to 4.25% starting in tax year 2024.


  1. Governor Whitmer Signs New Laws for Universal Background Checks and Safe Storage

This week, Governor Whitmer signed into law new legislation that will require individuals who purchase a firearm to undergo a background check. Additionally, anyone who owns a firearm, is required to lock it up.

Why it Matters: These laws will take effect 90 days following the end of the current legislative session.


  1. Fraser Trebilcock Attorney Secures Principal Residency Exemption for Client

Fraser Trebilcock Shareholder Paul McCord won a principal residence exemption for an elderly Michigan snowbird couple. Without careful planning, a hard-earned retirement with the means to travel can cost many Michiganders who fly South to escape Michigan’s harsh winters dearly.

Why it Matters: As is generally the case, property owners that own more than one residence must take care to appropriately establish which home is their “principal residence.” The problem is often more complicated in cases of retired homeowners as they typically are not tethered to a fixed location for work or socially and travel often. Learn more.


  1. Michigan Legislature Passes Amendment to Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to Protect LGBTQ Rights

The Michigan Legislature recently passed an amendment to the state’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) that explicitly includes protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

Why it Matters: Michigan entities covered by the ELCRA should ensure that their policies and practices protect against discrimination based on these amended protected categories.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Business & Tax | Paul McCord
Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | David Houston
Business & Tax | Ed Castellani