taxes http://michiganradio.org en Report finds tax cuts have not been helping Michigan's economy http://michiganradio.org/post/report-finds-tax-cuts-have-not-been-helping-michigans-economy <p></p><p>Michigan has been cutting taxes for the past 20 years. The key selling point has been that slashing taxes will create economic prosperity.</p><p>A new report by the former head of the state Treasury Department's Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis, Douglas Drake, says these tax cuts have instead drained Michigan of economic life, with our per-capita income rank tumbling, and our unemployment rate way above the national average.</p><p>Charles Ballard is an economist from Michigan State University.</p><p><em>*Listen to the full show above.</em></p><p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:02:16 +0000 Stateside Staff 17831 at http://michiganradio.org Report finds tax cuts have not been helping Michigan's economy Just fix the damn roads http://michiganradio.org/post/just-fix-damn-roads <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I think the low point in my faith in democracy came late this winter, soon after I had lost one tire to a pothole. I got home after nearly losing another on the lunar surface of a suburban Detroit mile road, just in time to hear a state senator claiming we needed another tax cut.</span></p><p>Well, I thought, I am now living in a Third World country. But guess what? That senator heard from his constituents, big-time. Before long, he was retreating from his tax-cut talk, legislative tail between his legs. Why?</p><p>To quote the leader of his caucus, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville R- Monroe,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I’ve heard the message loud and clear that the roads are messed up, and I think the most common phrase I’m hearing from back home is 'just fix the damn roads.'"</span></p><p> Wed, 21 May 2014 14:20:20 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17687 at http://michiganradio.org Just fix the damn roads Poll shows strong support for raising taxes to pay for repairing Michigan roads http://michiganradio.org/post/poll-shows-strong-support-raising-taxes-pay-repairing-michigan-roads <p>A proposal to greatly increase Michigan’s gas tax goes before a state Senate committee tomorrow.</p><p></p><p>The proposal has already cleared the state House. Among other things, it calls for taxing fuel based on price, instead of volume. It would generate about $500 million in new tax revenue. That's about a third of what Gov. Rick Snyder and others say is needed to fix the roads.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Mon, 19 May 2014 19:12:23 +0000 Steve Carmody 17659 at http://michiganradio.org Poll shows strong support for raising taxes to pay for repairing Michigan roads Michigan Senate eyes bigger gasoline tax increase http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-senate-eyes-bigger-gasoline-tax-increase <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan senators are considering whether to significantly increase gasoline taxes over five years to mend roads and bridges.<br /><br />The talk of pumping more money into transportation infrastructure comes on the heels of a House vote to gradually allow Michigan's 19-cents-a-gallon gas tax to go as high as 32 1/2 cents over time.</p> Sun, 18 May 2014 14:15:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17645 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Senate eyes bigger gasoline tax increase For 20 years Michigan has cut taxes with little to show for it http://michiganradio.org/post/20-years-michigan-has-cut-taxes-little-show-it <p>Every society functions at least partly on a set of myths. Sometimes these have been highly destructive. For example, believing you are the master race and everyone else deserves to be slaves has potentially destructive consequences.</p><p>America has largely operated on good myths, good because most of them had some grain of truth.</p><p>For example, the theories that all men are created equal, or that anyone can become rich or succeed at any occupation they choose. Those ideas have, by and large, encouraged hard work and a belief in the future.</p><p> Thu, 08 May 2014 13:27:57 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17522 at http://michiganradio.org For 20 years Michigan has cut taxes with little to show for it Stateside for Monday, April 14, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-monday-april-14-2014 <p>Today, Gov. Rick Snyder rolled out a new statewide recycling plan that aims to increase recycling across the state. Michigan is seventh among the eight Great&nbsp;Lakes states in its recycling performance, and the governor as well as recycling activists agree that we can do a lot better.&nbsp;</p><p>The intersection of college athletics and college academics often causes controversy. To what degree are student athletes allowed to get away with lighter class loads in order for them to play? Paul Barrett of Bloomberg Businessweek joined us to answer that very question.</p><p>Tax day is tomorrow and procrastinators out there are scrambling to file. Detroit News Finance Editor Brian O'Connor joined us to explain how we can decrease our chances of being audited.&nbsp;</p><p>On the West Coast during World War II, hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans were put in internment camps. Matt Faulkner, an author and illustrator for kids, tells the story of these internments in his most recent graphic novel, Gaijin.&nbsp; Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:03:43 +0000 Stateside Staff 17220 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Monday, April 14, 2014 How to decrease your audit odds http://michiganradio.org/post/how-decrease-your-audit-odds <p>It's here, or at least it's almost here: Tax day is tomorrow, April 15.&nbsp;</p><p>You procrastinators are likely waiting until the proverbial 11th hour to file. Others may be already opening the envelope with their refund check.&nbsp;</p><p>But lurking in the back of many minds is that nagging question: Will I get audited?&nbsp;</p><p>In actuality, your likelihood of being audited is pretty low, about one in 100, although as your income increases, so do your odds.&nbsp;</p><p>Let's find out how to decrease your chances of being audited, and the dos and don'ts if the IRS decides to take a closer look at your tax return.</p><p>Today we're joined by Detroit News Finance Editor Brian O'Connor.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:46:00 +0000 Stateside Staff 17221 at http://michiganradio.org How to decrease your audit odds Gov. Snyder signs bills so Michigan cities don't lose revenue http://michiganradio.org/post/gov-snyder-signs-bills-so-michigan-cities-dont-lose-revenue <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation designed to ensure local government budgets aren't hurt if manufacturers and small businesses get planned tax cuts.<br /><br />A phase-out of taxes on industrial machinery starts in 2016 and is underway for small businesses with equipment. The tax cuts will be halted if a statewide vote fails in August.<br /> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 19:27:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17026 at http://michiganradio.org Gov. Snyder signs bills so Michigan cities don't lose revenue State of Opportunity has a new project and needs your tax stories http://michiganradio.org/post/state-opportunity-has-new-project-and-needs-your-tax-stories <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px; line-height: 22px;">We're getting ready for a new project here at State of Opportunity, and we're excited about it.</span></p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 18:37:41 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 16682 at http://michiganradio.org State of Opportunity has a new project and needs your tax stories If Michigan legislators cared, they would end their tax hike on the poor http://michiganradio.org/post/if-michigan-legislators-cared-they-would-end-their-tax-hike-poor <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In an apparent attempt to pander to voters, the Michigan Legislature is rushing to pass an election year income tax cut. This is a little baffling, because the voters don’t want one.</span></p><p>The state has a budget surplus – on paper, anyway – of a little less than a billion dollars. Two weeks ago, <a href="http://www.epicmra.com/press/EPIC-MRA_Polling_Memo_Feb2014.pdf">an EPIC-MRA poll</a> found only 11% of the voters thought a tax cut was a good idea. The rest were divided about evenly between those who wanted it to go to schools and those who want it to go to our roads. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 15:33:53 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 16655 at http://michiganradio.org If Michigan legislators cared, they would end their tax hike on the poor Snyder: Michigan pension tax will stand despite surplus http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-michigan-pension-tax-will-stand-despite-surplus <p>DETROIT (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says he won't reconsider a controversial tax on income of certain Michigan retirees.<br /><br />Michigan has a large budget surplus, but Snyder tells <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140118/POLITICS02/301180020/Gov-Snyder-says-challenges-Detroit-bankruptcy-stressful-amid-efforts-resolve-it?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">The Detroit News</a> that revisiting the 2012 tax is not on his radar. He calls it an issue of fairness, saying pensions shouldn't be treated differently for tax purposes than other retirement income.<br /> Sat, 18 Jan 2014 19:43:00 +0000 The Associated Press 16080 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder: Michigan pension tax will stand despite surplus Fees set to increase for Michigan birth, death, marriage records http://michiganradio.org/post/fees-set-increase-michigan-birth-death-marriage-records <p style="color: rgb(54, 54, 54); font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;">If you need a vital record in Michigan, you&#39;ll likely pay more.</p><p style="color: rgb(54, 54, 54); font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;"><a href="http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/10/fees_for_birth_death_marriage.html#incart_river">MLive&#39;s Jonathan Oosting&nbsp;reports</a> a bill recently passed by the state Senate now heads to Gov. Snyder&#39;s desk:</p><blockquote><p style="color: rgb(54, 54, 54); font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;">Under&nbsp;<a href="http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2013-HB-4786" style="color: rgb(48, 92, 182); font-weight: bold;">House Bill 4786</a>, the basic fee for a vital record search will rise from $26 to $34, while an authenticated copy of a birth, death, marriage or divorce record will rise from $29 to $42. Creation of new birth or death certificate will rise from $40 to $50.</p><p style="color: rgb(54, 54, 54); font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;"><span style="font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; display: inline !important;">Recent budgets for the Department of Community Health have assumed $5.5 million a year in vital records collections, but according to the Senate Fiscal Agency, revenues have come up short in recent years, leaving a $1.5 million structural deficit that the increased fees are designed to remedy.</span></p> Wed, 02 Oct 2013 14:37:22 +0000 Mark Brush 14683 at http://michiganradio.org Fees set to increase for Michigan birth, death, marriage records Fiscal health of local goverments gradually improving, but many still in bad straits http://michiganradio.org/post/fiscal-health-local-goverments-gradually-improving-many-still-bad-straits <p>Michigan&#39;s cities, towns, and villages are seeing an overall improvement in their ability to meet their financial needs, but hundreds continue to struggle. That&#39;s according to an annual&nbsp;<a href="http://closup.umich.edu/files/mpps-fiscal-health-2013.pdf">report</a>&nbsp;by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan&#39;s Ford School of Public Policy.</p><p>The report finds that smaller&nbsp;municipalities are having a tougher time than those with populations of more than 30,000. And municipalities in central&nbsp;Michigan and the southern lower Peninsula have been particularly hard hit.<img alt="&lt;--break-&gt;" border="0" height="1" src="file:///C:\Users\MBrush\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif" width="1" /></p><p> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 19:54:25 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14670 at http://michiganradio.org Fiscal health of local goverments gradually improving, but many still in bad straits Weekly Political Roundup: Rough road ahead for transportion funding http://michiganradio.org/post/weekly-political-roundup-rough-road-ahead-transportion-funding <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Each week we take a look at Michigan politics with Ken </span>Sikkema<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan </span>Demas<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, columnist for </span><a href="http://www.mlive.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">MLIVE.com</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>Governor Snyder has been calling for increased funding for Michigan roads to the tune of $1.2 billion a year. This is one of the items he has not gotten a lot of traction on so far from lawmakers on either side of the political aisle.</p><p>According to Sikkema, the last time <a href="http://www.michiganinbrief.org/edition06/text/issues/issue-50.htm">Michigan increased fees and a tax</a> for transportation funding was back in 1997.</p><p>"The reason we keep going back to this sales tax issue is because Michigan is relatively unique. It has a sales tax on top of its state and federal gas tax and that sales tax doesn't go to roads it goes to schools and revenue sharing. There are only about three or four states in the country where all the taxes at the pump don't go to roads. Michigan is one of them," he said.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Are better roads, better for business?</span></p><p> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 14007 at http://michiganradio.org Weekly Political Roundup: Rough road ahead for transportion funding Medicaid expansion does not equal government expansion http://michiganradio.org/post/medicaid-expansion-does-not-equal-government-expansion <p></p><p>Yesterday I talked about Washington’s offer to expand Medicaid to many Michiganders who currently have no health insurance. The government has offered to make the program available to many poor, but not officially poverty-stricken, Americans.</p><p>States who participate will pay only a fraction of the cost. This would immediately provide health care to hundreds of thousands who don’t now have it, and be extremely beneficial to virtually everyone, including employers, who would have a healthier work force.</p><p>Though some states sensibly ratified this almost immediately, Michigan has dragged its feet, largely because of bitter ideological opposition to anything that seems to be “government” health care. I said yesterday that this was irrational and was harming our state.</p><p>But while I heard from many people who agreed, not everybody did. One woman said I just didn’t understand that this would be terrible because it would be an expansion of government. In fact, the Tea Party has denounced more Medicaid as tyranny.</p><p>Well, I think that’s nonsense; I don’t think extending an already existing benefit to more people is expanding government. Fri, 02 Aug 2013 12:44:55 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 13806 at http://michiganradio.org Medicaid expansion does not equal government expansion Legislation would allow petition campaigns to cap public employee benefits http://michiganradio.org/post/legislation-would-allow-petition-campaigns-cap-public-employee-benefits <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There’s legislation pending in Lansing that would allow voters to amend local charters to cap public employee compensation and benefits.</span></p><p>Courts have held that local initiatives don’t trump collective bargaining rights.</p><p>Former state Representative Leon Drolet heads the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance. He says the legislation is an effort to get around that, to let voters run ballot drives and amend city charters.</p><p>“There would still be a collective bargaining process,” Drolet explained. “They would still set benefit levels, but there would be a cap on what the city could agree to, and what could be part of that negotiating process. Right now, there’s no cap.”</p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:17:24 +0000 Rick Pluta 13573 at http://michiganradio.org Legislation would allow petition campaigns to cap public employee benefits How a change in immigration laws could give Michigan an economic boost http://michiganradio.org/post/how-change-immigration-laws-could-give-michigan-economic-boost <p>Michigan could get a boost in new tax revenues if the federal government approves proposed changes to immigration laws.</p><p>That’s according to a <a href="http://www.itep.org/pdf/undocumentedtaxes.pdf">new report</a>. &nbsp;</p><p>The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy predicts Michigan could gain $35 million dollars a year in new sales, property and income tax revenues, under the immigration changes.</p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 18:00:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 13464 at http://michiganradio.org How a change in immigration laws could give Michigan an economic boost Michigan lawmakers look for ways of closing the online sales tax loophole http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-look-ways-closing-online-sales-tax-loophole <p>Michigan lawmakers are looking at how to get online retailers to collect state sales taxes.</p><p></p><p>Currently, shoppers are supposed to report any sales taxes they owe on online purchases, and pay them with their income tax.</p><p></p><p>But most people don’t.</p><p></p><p>State Representative Eileen Kowall’s bill would put the responsibility on the online retailer.&nbsp;&nbsp; She’s quick to say this is not a tax increase, just making sure that the taxes that are owed are being paid.</p><p></p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 21:01:16 +0000 Steve Carmody 12349 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers look for ways of closing the online sales tax loophole Democrats call for repealing some state taxes http://michiganradio.org/post/democrats-call-repealing-some-state-taxes <p>State House Democrats spent “tax day” pushing a plan to repeal several state tax policies.<br>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 00:26:42 +0000 Jake Neher 12149 at http://michiganradio.org Democrats call for repealing some state taxes Michigan processes shorter corporate tax returns http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-processes-shorter-corporate-tax-returns <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan says the new corporate income tax returns it's processing are much shorter in length than other business tax returns.<br><br>The state Department of Treasury says the returns submitted to date average 17 pages. That's 41 fewer pages than the average Michigan Business Tax return.<br><br>The Corporate Income Tax approved in 2011 took effect for the 2012 tax year. Some businesses still file an MBT return because they qualify for certain tax credits.<br><br>The state says some MBT returns are longer than 1,000 pages.<br> Sun, 31 Mar 2013 15:38:47 +0000 The Associated Press 11945 at http://michiganradio.org