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State budget forecast shows emphasis on education and infrastructure, not tax cuts

Feb 7, 2017

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Education, public safety, and paying down the long term debt will be Governor Rick Snyder’s top priorities when he unveils his 2018 budget Wednesday.

Some Republicans in Lansing are really hoping to make some aggressive tax cuts this year. Especially since Michigan has a $330 million surplus in the budget.

But as Governor Rick Snyder gets ready to roll out his budget plan, he’s shying away from major tax cuts.

State Budget Office spokesperson Kurt Weiss said tax cuts need to be balanced with replacement revenue, even though there is a hefty surplus.

“So he’ll talk tomorrow about some of the tax reforms that have already been made and that there is a lot of middle class tax relief already occurring in the state,” he said.

Still, Republicans aren’t giving up.

Representative Laura Cox is chair of the House committee that handles the budget. She said they plan to work with the Snyder administration to find room in the budget for income tax rollbacks.

“My goal has always been to keep more dollars into the families of the taxpayers of Michigan,” she said. “And I don’t want to increase government spending, that’s not going to be fruitful for everybody that’s back at home.”

Weiss said there will also be a lot of talk about fixing Michigan’s infrastructure.

“You’ll hear him talk about how he wants to pilot some programs in that area and you’ll see some money that he’s going to put toward that area as well,” he said. 

A continued investment in Flint and a plan for the city’s future is also on the agenda for Snyder and new Budget Director Al Pscholka’s budget presentation. Reports from the Associated Press also say Snyder plans to propose growing the state’s savings account to $1 billion. 

The 2018 budget takes effect this October.