Study Finds More Kids Living With Grandparents

Nearly 60 thousand Michigan children have something in common with the President of the United States — they’re being raised by their grandparents or other relatives. According to a new report by the Annie E Casey Foundation, nearly three million American children are being raised by relatives or close friends. That’s an 18 percent increase in the last ten years. May 29, 2012 — WSJM

Tax Cut? Or Not?

Tax proposals moving through the Legislature are being hailed as “tax relief” for Michigan taxpayers. Well, maybe for some.

A closer look at the proposals to roll back the income tax from 4.35% to 4.25% three months early and to expand the personal exemption for one-fourth of the tax year reveals that when last year’s tax increase is factored in, only the very high income actually get a “tax cut.” That’s because tax proposals passed last year raised taxes on individuals by a whopping $1.4 billion, negatively impacting low- and middle-income families the most.

A League analysis shows how a family of three will be impacted at four income levels, factoring in the current proposed tax changes and the tax increase passed in 2011 for one-quarter of the tax year. A family making $25,000 will see a net increase of $29 in their taxes for one-quarter. A middle-income family, making $66,000, will see a net increase of $107 for one-quarter. An upper-middle-income family will see a net increase of $83 for one-quarter. What’s more, these tax increases will be even higher for the full year. (more…)

It’s only a tax break if …..

May 30, 2012
Contact: Judy Putnam (517) 487-5436

It’s only a tax break if you forget about last year’s tax shift

The income tax break passed by the House Tax Policy Committee today will make only a very small dent in offsetting overall tax increases for low- and moderate-income families though it will help high-income households, a new analysis finds.

“While this is being touted as a tax break, for most people it is not a decrease. Most of us will barely notice this change in light of the big increases that hit low- and moderate-income households the hardest starting in tax year 2012,’’  said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president & CEO of the Michigan League for Human Services. (more…)

Choosing the right election-year priority


Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436
or (517) 410-5798 cell

Investing in our state, not tax rollback, should be election-year priority

A proposed income tax rollback will put just $7 – buying less than two gallons of gas – in the pockets of the lowest-income families while giving $444 to the state’s wealthiest households, and it fails to offset recent income tax increases for all but the very top-income earners.

“It will take $90 million out of the state coffers at a time when we should be investing in our kids and our future when we have the means to do so. While the election-year timing of this tax change is suspect, it really does little to move our state forward at time when families are still struggling and low-income working families have taken a huge hit in tax increases approved by the Legislature and governor last year,’’ said Michigan League for Human Service President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs. (more…)

Kinship care fills huge hole

Contact: Jane Zehnder-Merrell or Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436
May 23, 2012

Kinship caregivers fill a huge hole in Mich. children’s lives
More can be done to support those relatives who have stepped up to help

Nearly 60,000 Michigan kids are in the care of grandparents, other relatives or close family friends who are providing vital support when parents are no longer able to care for their children.

A new KIDS COUNT report released today from the Annie E. Casey Foundation calls for immediate attention from policymakers to strengthen this important network for Michigan’s youth. Michigan, for example, has no comprehensive guide or help for caregivers to access support and programs, and $200,000 a year in state funding for a statewide kinship center at Michigan State University ended two years ago. (more…)

Election-year politics at play

Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436
May 22, 2012

MLHS statement:
Election-year politics at play in tax rollback discussion

Recent suggestions that the income tax rate should be rolled back six months early or that the personal exemption should be increased sound like election-year politics. These proposals are tied to the news that revenues are up for this fiscal year.

General Fund revenues, however, will fall in Fiscal Year 2013 as business tax revenues plummet. Proposals passed last year raise taxes on individuals by $1.4 billion, while reducing business taxes by at least $1.7 billion. (more…)

A Question of Fairness

If you had to sum up the Republican Party’s creed in a sentence, it might well be: Raising taxes is a bad idea, no matter what. After all, the GOP’s rising “Tea Party” faction’s name began as an acronym: Taxed Enough Already. May 18, 2012 — DOME

Advocates Worry About Effects Of Reduced State Tax Credit

The Michigan League for Human Services says that small businesses and families will be losing out next year as the state’s lower Earned Income Tax Credit begins to take effect. Spokesperson Judy Putnam tells us that the legislature reduced the tax credit in the state from 20 percent of its federal amount to just six percent. She says that means 244 million dollars less for the families that would have benefited from the EITC next year. May 16, 2012 — WSJM AM 1400 & FM 94.9

Report: Low-Income Families Could Pay More Taxes

A new report shows Michigan’s low-income families will be paying more in state income taxes next year. May 15, 2012 — WWMT.COM

Michigan House Considers Drug Test for Some Welfare Applicants

A house bill that passed committee on Tuesday would mandate a drug test for welfare applicants who are suspected of drug abuse. May 15, 2012 — WILX.COM

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