Michigan state appropriations by year.

The head of the state’s largest teachers union wants voters to approve a May 5 ballot measure authorizing a $2 billion tax hike for roads, city bus departments, public schools and local governments, because he contends that basic services have been cut “to the bone.”

Michigan Education Association President Steve Cook writes in the Detroit News: “New revenue is needed for two reasons: First, Michigan is still recovering from a deep recession that severely reduced state revenue. Second, policymakers in Lansing have made corporate tax cuts the No. 1 priority in the state budget. Those corporate tax cuts have eaten away at revenue to the point of cutting basic services to the bone.”

ForTheRecord says: The trajectory of state spending tells a different story. Here is the Michigan state budget by year, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency:

2011-12: $47.6 billion

2012-13: $47.8 billion

2013-14: $50.4 billion

2014-15: $52.3 billion

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As part of our efforts on government transparency, we obtained data on the compensation of most public employees in the state. This information has been used to fact check claims about salaries, verify data from other open records requests, and hold government spending accountable.

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