GOP group calls foul on Democrat attack ad

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Republican Governors Association is crying foul, accusing Democrats of not checking the facts before their latest ad in Michigan’s race for governor.

The ad, called ‘Seniors’, features former teacher, Rocky Gonet, who slams Gov. Snyder for giving tax breaks to businesses, while hitting retirees with a pension tax. Gonet then claims he’s scrambling to make ends meet.

That’s where the RGA has a problem, because according to the group, Gonet’s household income is more than $120,000.

Schauer – MarkGonet blames the problem on legislation passed in 2011, which removed most tax exemptions on pension income and eliminated the homestead property tax credit.

As part of the overhaul, the Michigan Business Tax was replaced with a 6-percent tax on the profits of thousands of companies doing business in Michigan.

The RGA estimates Gonet is receiving an annual pension of $42,000. That number was reached using a pension estimate calculator found on the Office of Retirement Services webpage.

It’s based on Gonet’s years of service and that he was making more than $85,000 as a teacher in the Ann Arbor school district.

Back in 2006, through a freedom of information request, the Ann Arbor News also found Gonet’s wife, Marcia Schaffer, was also making $83,000 as a teacher in the same school district.

The RGA also points to real estate online database, Zillow, which estimates Gonet’s home is valued at more than $716,000.snyder

Sabrina Singh, with the Democratic Governors Association, made the following statement to FOX 17:

“Rick Snyder’s Republican hatchet men may think it’s OK to release satellite photos of a senior citizen’s private home for speaking out against his anti-middle class policies, but it’s not. Snyder raised seniors’ property taxes and taxes on retirement to give tax cuts to businesses, even if they ship jobs overseas. He’ll be punished for it by voters in November.”

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  • Roger Humphrey

    The point is the republicans preach less tax and smaller government. This is a tax increase any way you look at it.

  • Mary johnson

    What is not true about Snyder, he did tax our PENSIONS, he isn’t the one that worked 30 plus years to earn one, why should he tax ours. What a crime, and nothing we can do about it! He also gave raises, how can that be fair?

    • Mel H

      What many aren’t acknowledging is that 401k are ALL taxed. That is a retirement account as well that the worker mostly funds himself! What is so special about those with pensions ( that the employer finds) that their “retirement account” should be excused from taxation? If one is taxed, ALL should be taxed! Thanks Snyder for at least making it fair! Oh and we will have all woredk for over 30 years (not to mention taken out of our pay) to earn our 401ks too! Just saying…

      • Ed Lane

        Some of us are not PRIVLEDGED to have a pensions a very small minority of workers are blessed with the extra income . …. I collect my soc and laugh at the cry babies that get the extra money and then complain because it is taxed…. there are only 10 other states that don’t tax pensions.. I would suggest if you think its not fair, then move to one of those states…. Michigan has never been so Vibrant of a state since Rick took charge. Jennie Blew us away…. and did not have the solutions to get us out of the Red…. I do want to thank you for adding extra money to the State of Michigan Mary no matter who is in office Democratic or Republican you will have taxes. So get a Grip and enjoy life and those sacrifices that you and others have made …. I thank you because people like you have help turn around the state of Michigan… and for that I sincerly say ” Thank You “

  • G.M.Robillard

    Rocky also owns his own Photography Business (Rocky Gonet Photography) and teachs visual arts at Washtenaw Community College

  • david beckman

    Gonet should be a poster child for taxing pensions of the well to do. If this guy needs to pay a few hundred bucks in taxes on his pension what is the big deal? He should be willing, if he is true to his party as the tax could benefit the less fortunate. The truth is he does not like to be taxed just like a Republican!

  • Ron

    I’m still amazed Democrats try to spin retired union teachers. Get a spokesperson that is really hurting as we can see thru it. Their hope is un-informed voters don’t research.

    1). Pension was surely spiked by Rocky and now earning 3% guarenteed yearly pension increase
    2). Rocky probably retired early. Therefore he started his own second career paid for by michigan taxpayers. Also moonlighting at community college (
    3). Rocky’s retirement, paid by the state, is the equivalent of a 1.5 million 401k. 401k pension withdrawals are taxed. Rocky shouldn’t?
    4). Finally, if pension tax is repealed we will still pay taxes in 401k withdrawals and I guess Rocky will be tax free (paid for by all of us with 401k

    Another union ploy

    Thanks Rocky