MLPP Blog: Factually Speaking

Save the EITC!

Added July 8th, 2015 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs

From the First Tuesday newsletter
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One of the state’s most effective tools for reducing poverty and building economic security is in jeopardy. House Republicans, led by Speaker Cotter, want to eliminate the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit, effectively raising taxes on 780,500 low-income working families raising 1 million children. (more…)

Don’t take minimum wage from young workers

Added June 23rd, 2015 by Peter Ruark | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Peter Ruark

Paychecks soon could be $50 less each week for 18- and 19-year-olds in Michigan.

Michigan’s minimum wage of $8.15 per hour will rise to $8.50 in 2016, but Michigan law allows employers to pay workers under 18 the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) instead.* The Senate Commerce Committee on June 17 passed out a bill to extend that lower wage level to 18- and 19-year-old workers as well. If passed, the bill could go into effect this year.

(more…)

Making kids count in the state budget

Added March 5th, 2015 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs
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Conditions for Michigan’s kids are progressing in some areas of child well-being but in others…. well, let’s just say we’ve got some major work ahead of us, particularly when it comes to economic security. That’s the upshot of the newly released Kids Count in Michigan Data Book.

Fortunately, the budget plan spelled out by Gov. Rick Snyder last month does a good job in a tight budget year of addressing inequities by making some investments that will drive improvements for Michigan’s kids.

Most welcome is a $49 million initiative, including $24 million for child care quality improvements, to increase the chances of more children reading proficiently by the end of third grade.

(more…)

An income tax cut won’t boost the economy

Added February 9th, 2015 by Alicia Guevara Warren | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Alicia Guevara Warren

Cutting taxes won’t create jobs or grow the economy. Michigan is already facing budget cuts because there is not enough money to fund schools, public safety and other important services that we value. Reducing the income tax would create an even bigger hole in the budget, leading to more cuts and making it harder to create a strong workforce ready for the 21st century, according to a new fact sheet from the League. (more…)

Lopsided income growth hurts Michigan

Added January 26th, 2015 by Judy Putnam | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Judy Putnam

The top 1% in Michigan earned 25 times the income of the bottom 99%, a new report from Economic Policy Institute concludes.

The report ranks Michigan as the 15th most unequal state in the country and offers new evidence on why Michigan policymakers should refuse more tax cuts so that they can invest in building the skills of a 21st century workforce.

In Michigan, inequality looks like this:

•    $942,993 a year on average for the top 1% of taxpayers.
•    $37,324 average annual income for the rest. (more…)

Diving deeper into the river of opportunity

Added January 21st, 2015 by Judy Putnam | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Judy Putnam

At the League, economic opportunity is our mission so it was heartening to hear Gov. Rick Snyder talk about the ‘river of opportunity’ in his fifth State of the State address Tuesday. There is an assumption in that analogy, however, that deserves a closer look.

The governor spoke about his background growing up in a 900-square-foot home in Battle Creek in a supportive family. He said despite his family’s modest income, he was still able to be part of the river of opportunity. He spoke of the Michiganians who are not part – separated by poverty, absent parents or other barriers — and he talked about his desire to move them into that river of opportunity. (more…)

Gov. Snyder signs Main Street Fairness Act

Added January 15th, 2015 by Alicia Guevara Warren | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Alicia Guevara Warren

Today, we applaud Gov. Snyder and the Legislature for strengthening Michigan’s ability to collect sales taxes for online purchases. The League supports the Main Street Fairness Act (Public Acts 553 and 554 of 2014) as it:

Levels the playing field between brick-and-mortar retailers and online retailers by requiring both to collect sales and use taxes and removing an unfair advantage that online retailers currently have;
• Creates a more equitable system for low-income families, who are less likely to make online purchases, by expecting online consumers (usually higher wage earners) to also pay the sales tax on their purchases; and,
• Provides additional revenue, which is especially important since the state is likely to be facing a budget shortfall over the next couple of years. (more…)

The State Priorities Partnership: Celebrating 20 years of impact

Added December 23rd, 2014 by Jean Ross | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Jean Ross
Editor’s note: The League has been proud to be part of this national partnership since 1994. Jean Ross is a program officer with the Ford Foundation. Her blog is reprinted with permission of Ford Foundation’s Equals Change blog.

Over the past two decades, the State Priorities Partnership (SPP) has worked to ensure that states have the resources they need to invest in schools, child care, health care and other services that can help create opportunity, and reduce inequality and poverty. The Partnership—which emerged from conversations between Michael Lipsky, then a senior program officer at the Ford Foundation, and the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)—came together in Baltimore last month to celebrate and honor Partnership members past and present, and to strategize at the Center’s 2014 State Fiscal Policy Conference. (more…)

High poverty, unemployment harm economic growth

Added December 22nd, 2014 by Alicia Guevara Warren | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Alicia Guevara Warren

Often touted as the “Comeback State,” Michigan’s economic recovery has not included everyone as reflected in the state’s high poverty and unemployment rates. Leaving people behind will only hinder Michigan’s potential economic growth, which has already showed signs of slowing.

A recent report ranking states based on multiple indicators of economic security and opportunity reveals the state’s major lack of investment in its people. On almost every factor from poverty to education to affordable housing, Michigan is ranked worst or second-worst among the Midwest states. (more…)

Taxing Internet sales as a matter of fairness

Added December 11th, 2014 by Alicia Guevara Warren | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Alicia Guevara Warren

Nowadays, with a growing number of people shopping online, it makes sense to collect sales taxes on the items purchased – if the item was bought at a store nearby, we would have to pay the sales tax.

So, what’s the difference? The difference is that over the past year an estimated $482.4 million worth of sales and use taxes from remote sales will go uncollected by the state. The majority (60%) of that is due to e-commerce. (more…)

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