Kids Count in Michigan shows how the kids are doing

Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436 or
Jan. 31, 2013

Editors: Infographics and charts, photos, county press releases and additional commentary  on the report are available for your use.

Report: Michigan child well-being slips
Kids Count offers overall county rankings for first time

[LANSING, Mich.] The latest Kids Count in Michigan Data Book underscores the need to act to help children in Michigan with eight of 15 indicators of child well-being showing worsening trends.

For the first time since 1992, when the first state data book was released, the report ranks counties on the overall status of child well-being using 13 out of 15 indicators. This provides a bigger picture of local child well-being and how the county compares with others. (more…)

Half-million kids in poverty

For the first time the state Kids Count project provided overall rankings on child well-being across Michigan counties in its annual data book released today.

And guess what? The overall ranking, particularly for the top and bottom 10 counties, closely reflected the economic status of children and their families. Ottawa, Livingston and Clinton counties—the top three counties with the lowest child poverty rates—also were the top three in overall child well-being. At the bottom were the three counties—Lake, Roscommon and Clare—with the highest poverty rates. (more…)

MLive: Michigan Kids Count report: Rural areas also face child poverty, well-being issues

A new report shows that some of Michigan’s relatively rural counties are among the hardest hit when it comes to child poverty and other measures of child well-being – and it suggests more spending on “safety net” programs could help address problems. Jan. 31, 2013 — MLive

Battle Creek Enquirer: Kids Count: An interactive look at well-being Michigan children

Overall Average Ranking of Child Well-Being. Jan. 31, 2013 — Battle Creek Enquirer

The Detroit News: Childhood poverty rates shoot up in area

The number of Michigan children who live in poverty rose 28 percent from 2005-11, resulting in a half-million kids who are experiencing economic insecurity, the latest Kids Count report shows.   In Metro Detroit, the starkest rise in childhood poverty was in Oakland and Macomb counties, where social service providers say middle-class families were most heavily impacted by the downturn of the late 2000s. Jan. 31, 2013 — The Detroit News

“Who pays?” tackles tax structure

A new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that Michigan’s tax structure is fundamentally unfair, taking a much greater share of income from low- and middle-income families than from wealthy families.

Michigan’s flat income tax and over reliance on the sales tax on goods are the underlying reasons for this unfair revenue structure. Add to that, recent tax changes that have shifted taxes from corporations to low- and middle- income families. (more…)

Who pays? Answer may surprise you

For Release: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Contact: Anne Singer, ITEP, 202-299-1066, ext. 27; Judy Putnam, MLPP, 517-487-5436


Wealthiest Michiganians PayThree-Fifths the Effective Tax Rate That Poorest Pay in State and Local Taxes; Middle-Income Families Also Pay More
Comprehensive New 50-State Study Provides Detailed Profiles and Comparisons of Tax Systems

 [Lansing, Mich.] – Like most state tax systems, Michigan takes a much larger share from middle- and low-income families than from wealthy families, according to the fourth edition of  “Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States,” released today by the Washington-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

Combining all of the state and local income, property, sales and excise taxes Michigan residents pay, the average overall effective tax rates by income group are 9.7 percent for the bottom 20 percent, 9.5 percent for the middle 20 percent and 5.8 percent for the top 1 percent. Nationally, those figures are 11.1 percent for the bottom 20 percent, 9.4 percent for the middle 20 percent and 5.6 percent for the top 1 percent. The full report is online at (more…)

Shoring up mental health services

Since the Newtown school shootings, the League has been asked about mental health funding and services in Michigan.

Here are some of the facts that we have shared related to non-Medicaid funded Community Mental Health services:

Want to tackle poverty? Restore the EITC

Today is the seventh annual EITC Awareness Day.

The EITC — Earned Income Tax Credit — is a refundable tax credit available to low- and middle-income families who work and pay other taxes. The EITC helps offset regressive taxes that hit poor families the hardest – such as federal payroll, sales, property, and excise taxes  – and provides much needed relief to low-income families (those earning under 200% of the federal poverty line).

Michigan working families can currently claim two Earned Income Tax Credits: a federal EITC and a state EITC, which is designed to supplement the federal credit. In Michigan, according to the latest available data, one-third of all working families are considered low-income and one in every four children live in poverty (a higher childhood poverty rate than the national average). (more…)

Template Kids Count Letter to Editor

Template: Kids Count Letter to Editor using statewide data

Dear Editor,

Policymakers must act to make life better for children in Michigan. The latest Kids Count in Michigan Data Book documents more than half of indicators of child well-being moving in the wrong direction. As we work to reinvent our state, its vital that we make the proper investments in children — our future workforce.

Sadly, the report shows a 28 percent increase in child poverty from 2005-2011. There has been a startling 55 percent increase in the rate of young children receiving food assistance — a reflection of families struggling with unemployment and underemployment.

The report shows also shows a 28 percent increase in child abuse and neglect in Michigan. We know that four out of every five victims suffer neglect. Rising poverty and unemployment play a role in driving up these sad statistics.

As the governor and lawmakers put together a budget for the year starting Oct. 1, they must be mindful of these children and their families.

The unraveling of programs aimed at helping needy children and their families must stop. More talk of business taxes without replacement revenue is unacceptable.

Our children deserve to be at the top of our list of priorities.

Sincerely, (your name and city)

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