News Bites

You're Paying $1.29 Billion More For This

The vehicle registration tax hike that took effect Jan. 1 is projected to raise an additional $1.29 billion in revenue for state government over the next two years. The annual cost for most new license plate tabs in Michigan was raised 20 percent to increase money available for road repairs.  … more

GOP Governor Thanks House GOP Tax Cut Opponents

Gov. Rick Snyder called the 12 House Republicans responsible for blocking an income tax cut and thanked them for their dissenting vote, according to MIRS News.

A bill that would have reduced the income tax rate from 4.25 to 4.05 percent was rejected by a 55-52 vote. There are 63 Republicans and 46 Democrats in the House.

 … more

These 12 Republicans Voted 'No' On Michigan Income Tax Cut

A bill that would have cut the state income tax rate was rejected by the House of Representatives early Thursday morning. Republicans control the body by a 16 vote margin.

House Bill 4001 failed by 55-52 vote. The measure would have cut the state income tax from 4.25 percent to 4.05 percent in 2019.

These are the Republicans who voted against a tax cut:

Jason Sheppard, Temperance

Chris Afendoulis, Grand Rapids Township

Julie Calley, Portland

Kathy Crawford, Novi

Daniela Garcia, Holland

Larry Inman, Williamsburg

Jim Lilly, Park Township

Dave Maturen, Vicksburg

Michael McCready, Bloomfield Hills

Brett Roberts, Eaton Township

Dave Pagel, Berrien Springs

Scott VanSingel, Grant

 … more

Teacher Evaluations Out Of Sync With Outcomes

The Detroit News reports that a national education test shows Michigan students have shown less academic improvement than those in any other state since 2003. But you would never know it from the annual evaluations Michigan public school administrators have given their own teachers. All of Michigan’s approximately 95,500 public school teachers are given an annual evaluation. From 2011 through 2015, that’s 477,292 evaluations. Of these, just 2,739 came back with an “ineffective” rating, about one-half of one percent. Another 168,189 evaluations, 35 percent of the total, received the top “highly effective” rating. … more

Average Annual Taxpayer Savings: $173.52 

State Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, has introduced a bill to cut the state’s personal income tax from 4.25 percent to 3.9 percent starting in January. This would mean a Michigan resident who earns the median annual income of $49,576 could keep another $173.52 each year. … more

Michigan's $6.3 Billion Broken Promise

In 2007 Michigan's Legislature increased the state income tax rate from 3.9 percent to 4.35 percent. The law that did this included a promise to gradually return the rate back to 3.9 percent by 2015. Instead, in 2012, the Legislature voted to put the rate at 4.25 percent, where it remains today. By not following through on reducing the income tax rate, lawmakers have given themselves over time an additional $6.3 billion in revenue to spend. … more

Michigan's 'Temporary' 2007 Tax Hike Took $770 Million Last Year

In 2007 the Michigan Legislature approved a “temporary” income tax hike, raising the rate from 3.9 percent to 4.35 percent. Embedded in the legislation was a promise to gradually roll back the tax hike starting in 2011, returning to the previous 3.9 percent rate by 2015. Instead, in 2012 the Legislature voted to freeze the income tax rate at 4.25 percent and cancel the scheduled reductions. The income tax never went back to the original 3.9 percent. In 2016 alone, Michigan taxpayers delivered an extra $770 million in income taxes that they wouldn’t have had to pay if the 2007 tax cut promise had been kept. … more

Michigan's Worldwide Trading Economy

South Sudan is a landlocked country that borders Ethiopia in northeastern Africa. It has just 124 miles of paved roads and is in the midst of an ethnic civil war. Nevertheless,  the U.S. Department of Commerce says South Sudan residents imported $3,263 worth of Michigan-produced products in 2016, making it one of 207 countries to which this state exported products last year. … more

Number of Michigan Millionaires Grows 25-Fold

In 2005, just 573 of Michigan's personal income tax returns reported more than $1 million in adjusted gross income. Income taxes paid by the millionaires were 0.3 percent of the total income tax paid in the state. In 2014, there were 14,428 returns reporting more than $1 million in adjusted gross income, and together, they paid 9.1 percent of the total state income tax. … more

Loans From Corporate Welfare Agency Are, Like Its Job Promises, 'Uncollectible'

Along with giving cash handouts to favored developers and corporations, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state agency that also gives out below-market rate loans to businesses. According to audited financial statements, of the loans still carried on the agency’s books, two out of every three dollars owed were listed as “uncollectible.” That's an $8.4 million write-off on the $12.8 million worth of loans outstanding in 2015. Programs managed by this agency also have an extensive record of failing to produce the number of new jobs promised. … more

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