Thursday, January 8, 2009

Michigan Tax News

As road needs sputter on empty, Granholm runs low on gumption

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has all but ruled out a gas tax increase this year, as she has before. Her refusal to make hard and sometimes unpopular calls, even in her final term, could cement her legacy as a governor who watched Michigan's transportation systems dangerously deteriorate.

Dismissing a gas-tax increase before the new legislative session starts is both poor policy and lousy politics. Instead, her representatives should be meeting with legislative leaders of both parties -- twisting arms if necessary -- to work out a plan that the state House and Senate could approve. A spokesperson for the governor said Granholm has supported pegging gas taxes to wholesale costs instead of gallons at the pump -- a move that eventually could increase transportation revenue.

But hundreds of road projects and $2 billion in federal aid are in jeopardy. The governor must assert herself now. FULL STORY.

So, unless Michiganders want to see higher TAXES in 2009, you better start reading the CAFR to help Gov. Granholm out with the necessary cuts from the budget so we can have safe roads.

CLICK HERE to read 2007 CAFR report.

2008 Report should be posted soon HERE.

Agency: Michigan jobless rate to rise, revenue to fall

Michigan’s unemployment rate will rise above 11% this year and next, and state finances will continue to be squeezed by the worst economic conditions since 1980, according to a new House Fiscal Agency analysis issued today.

State revenues this year will be $870 million less than predicted last May, according to the report. The jobless rate will hit 11.3% this year and peak at 11.7% in early 2010 before it begins to drop slightly.

Michigan’s unemployment rate rose to nearly 10% in November.

For now, the state budget won’t suffer much. The $870-million shortfall in revenue will be offset by some $700 million left over from last year, as well as $134 million in cuts ordered by Gov. Jennifer Granholm last month. FULL STORY.

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