Michigan’s Budget Woes: You Get What You Pay For (Or Don’t)

Wednesday , 14, May 2014 Leave a comment

Today the Michigan House Fiscal Agency released their forecast report on expected revenues for the next two years. The findings are dismal. The agency projects that the state of Michigan won’t collect as much in taxes as originally thought, and over the next two years the state could suffer from a shortfall of nearly $900 million.

The loss of taxes will impact the state’s general fund, which pays for road repairs, human services, local government and state agencies. Michigan’s public schools could be facing a shortfall of $246 million in additional cuts.

Lansing will have to figure out what to do about the unexpected loss of revenues. Governor Snyder had anticipated enough money to propose more tax cuts. Michigan’s roads are in severe need of repair, and now the money may not be there to fix them.

The fact that our state government is surprised by this news is most troubling of all. After giving the rich and corporations in Michigan massive tax cuts, while raising taxes on the elderly and poor, they should have known the results of this policy would be less revenue in the state’s general fund. There is a reason why poor people are poor – they have less money, which means less money to tax. Pensioners live on a fixed income, they make the same amount every year, so there’s not much chance for any kind of progressive rate of revenue to happen there either.

With Michigan’s crumbling roads, anemically funded schools and communities would it be too much to hope that our state government would do what needs to be done and raise taxes on those who can afford to pay more?

Or perhaps our ‘One Obtuse Nerd’ governor will see this as an opportunity to declare more emergency management zones. Stay tuned, as the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency will be releasing their projected budget report soon.

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