News Releases

Personal exemption increase passed today means drastic cuts to vital services in years ahead

For Immediate Release 
February 14, 2018

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the legislative compromise reached today by Governor Rick Snyder and the House and Senate on bills to increase Michigan’s personal exemption, and the subsequent strain it will have on the state budget. The League also weighed in on another component of the deal—an elimination of the state’s driver responsibility fees. This statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“We were disheartened today to hear that the Legislature and governor have reached an agreement on an increase to the state personal exemption that will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue in the coming years with little benefit to most families. Simply put, the juice is not worth the squeeze on a tax cut right now. Lawmakers are making bad decisions today that will force future legislators to pay for them with significant cuts to the services residents value and rely on. The League will continue to be the voice of fiscal responsibility, and we will keep on advocating for policies—not political ploys—that truly make a difference for struggling Michiganders.

“We hope that today is the last we hear of any tax cut talk and that the League and the Legislature alike can turn our attention to the state budget. It’s just unfortunate that the adverse impact of this tax cut will outlast many of the people responsible for it.”

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

Governor’s budget continues key investments, urges Legislature to abandon risky revenue cuts

For Immediate Release 
February 7, 2018

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

Snyder recommends funding for education, roads, public safety, healthcare and more

LANSING—Following Governor Rick Snyder’s 2019 budget presentation, the Michigan League for Public Policy voiced support for his calls for continued investment in vital programs, and echoed his warning against reckless tax cuts by the Legislature. The League also called for a solution to Michigan’s ongoing revenue problem, and urged action on its own budget priorities as ways the Legislature can have a more significant impact on state residents’ well-being than a tax cut.

“There were a lot of great proposals in the governor’s budget today, including new and first-time funding for Early On, efforts to increase the existing low level of Family Independence Program cash assistance, and continued investments to support Michigan’s kids and families through ‘heat and eat,’ the Healthy Michigan Plan, lead pipe replacement in Flint, roads and public safety,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “These are all longstanding priorities for the League and we appreciate the governor’s recognition that they are key to a better Michigan for everyone. But these very items could be first on the chopping block for the Legislature as they seek to reconcile hundreds of millions of dollars in ineffective and unaffordable tax cuts that give very little money back to most taxpayers.”

While the governor’s budget contained many positives today, there weren’t a lot of dramatic funding increases, because the money is simply not there as a result of previous policy decisions. The major tax cuts passed over the past several years have put Michigan’s budget in an untenable situation where we are unable to make significant investments in all of the things that state residents, businesses and communities depend on. League budget experts continue to sound the alarm on the decline in the purchasing power of the state’s General Fund—which is now estimated to be nearly 6 percent lower than the level in 1968 when adjusted for inflation.

“Michigan has a revenue problem, and has for decades. Lawmakers are still budgeting like it’s 1968,” Jacobs said. “The Legislature is still trying to make Michigan competitive with other states while picking the wrong role models. The Legislature is still underinvesting in nearly everything kids, families, workers and businesses depend on. And disregarding past mistakes, the Legislature is still looking to cut taxes when they should be raising revenue.”

As the budget process gets officially underway today, the League continues to outline its own budget priorities and 15 related policy recommendations. A recent poll from EPIC-MRA showed that the League’s priorities are Michigan voters’ priorities, and resonate much more than “Keeping state and local income taxes low,” an important point with the state budget’s current revenue constraints.

“We don’t work in a vacuum and we know that calling for new investments in our current fiscal climate is bold. But our budget priorities are optimistic and aspirational—here are 15 things we think would better serve the people of Michigan than a tax cut,” Jacobs said.

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

League CEO Gilda Jacobs applauds governor’s stance against tax cuts, urges investment for a better Michigan for all

For Immediate Release
January 23, 2018

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
C: 517-775-9053

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on Governor Rick Snyder’s 2018 State of the State address. Potential tax cuts and budget strains, the future of the Affordable Care Act and the Healthy Michigan Plan, the Flint water crisis and other infrastructure challenges, education, unemployment, poverty and talent retention are all major issues for the League. The statement can be attributed to Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy.

“We appreciate Governor Snyder using his final State of the State address tonight to push back on irresponsible efforts in the Legislature to cut taxes without replacement revenue. Everything positive he has accomplished for the state, everything he has tried to do to make up for his mistakes, and everything he hopes to achieve in his final year is in jeopardy due to election-year decisions by the Legislature and Congress. All of these efforts require investment, and without it, his legacy could start disappearing before he’s even out of office.

“You can’t attract and retain talent without investing in our kids, our schools, our workers, our communities and our roads, bridges and water systems. Yet the Legislature sitting before him tonight is already planning to pass tax cuts that could cost the state budget in excess of $200 million annually. Some elected officials are talking about wanting to cut taxes even more with a state income tax roll back, further hampering our essential state services. And our state could be further compromised by the new federal tax plan and impending changes to the Healthy Michigan Plan and federal safety net programs state residents and the state budget depend on.

“Finally, while Michigan has recovered for some, many residents are still struggling. They may have jobs, but they’re still living in poverty. Our schools and our students are still woefully behind, ranking in the bottom ten nationally. Our roads, bridges and water systems are still falling apart. Lead is still a threat in Flint and around the state. And dramatic racial disparities continue to exist, as Michigan ranks worst in the nation for African-American child well-being. This is the Michigan no one is talking about, and the Michigan we will continue to get if state lawmakers continue to cut. We need a better state for all, not just some, and that’s going to require leadership by the governor and action by the Legislature.”

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

House and Senate personal exemption increases have too high a price tag for state budget

For Immediate Release 
January 17, 2018

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

The League continues support of Governor Snyder’s plan, opposes any hit to funds for roads, schools and public safety

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on competing House and Senate bills (HB 5420 and SB 748) to increase Michigan’s personal exemption. Initially proposed to counter state income tax increases related to the hastily-passed federal tax plan, the increases to the exemption proposed this week pose a threat to an already-strained state budget and all that it supports in residents’ daily lives. This statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“The League continues to support the governor’s proposal, which would clarify that the personal exemption is still in place and would increase it to $4,500 in 2021—a move that is universal in its benefits to taxpayers and neutral in its budget impact. Other proposals in the House and Senate would create deep revenue losses that would likely lead to cuts to the schools our kids attend, the roads we drive on, the police officers and firefighters that keep our communities safe, and more.

“Our opposition to these House and Senate bills may not be politically popular, but it is fiscally responsible, a value we have adhered to for more than a century. We speak for all Michigan residents, especially the workers, families and seniors who are struggling the most. These proposals come with a greater cost to the state, our services and our people than individuals stand to gain from these personal exemption increases.

“This situation is further complicated by the fact that we don’t yet understand the fiscal impact of the recent federal tax changes here in Michigan. And because a federal budget has not yet been adopted—and deep cuts to vital programs are likely coming—we don’t know the impact of these changes on Michigan, which relies on about 40 percent of its budget from federal funds.”

League Legislative Coordinator Rachel Richards testified in opposition to HB 5420 this morning. The League also came out in support of Governor Rick Snyder’s initial proposal to restore and moderately increase the state personal exemption.

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

Revenue estimates call for conscientious budgeting, not irresponsible election year tax cut

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2018

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

With revenue numbers in place, League releases 2019 state budget priorities to invest in Michigan

LANSING—According to today’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC), Michigan’s General Fund revenues are remaining relatively flat, while School Aid funds are growing slowly. The Michigan League for Public Policy says that the decline in the purchasing power of the state’s General Fund—which is now estimated to be nearly 6 percent lower than the level in 1968 when adjusted for inflation—is bad news for tax cut enthusiasts.

The CREC numbers speak strongly to the need to manage the state’s finances carefully and make sound investments, but mathematically counter any ideas that Michigan can afford to rollback or repeal its state income tax—costing between $250 million to $9 billion annually. The state roads plan is also starting to ramp up and affect the state’s General Fund growth, further iterating the need for caution and strategic investment in the budget.

“This morning’s numbers show that lawmakers need to carefully consider what lies ahead. The state’s General Fund will be strained over the coming years by potential federal cuts and by funds already committed to roads and tax relief for businesses,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “Some elected officials in Michigan still have tax cut fever in 2018 and are thinking more about the ballot box than balance sheets, but they need to understand that there’s no money or political will to do that.”

The revenue estimates outlined by the Department of Treasury and House and Senate fiscal agencies today did not take into consideration any of the federal tax changes passed in December while their full impact is still being analyzed. This includes the supposed “windfall” of $1.5 billion coming from state income tax increases caused by the federal GOP tax plan. However that gets resolved—and the League believes that simply eliminating the personal exemption is a regressive move that hurts families with low incomes—Michigan still has many threats to providing basic services. The League supports Governor Rick Snyder’s proposal to restore the personal exemption.

Today’s estimates also do not incorporate any potential changes to the upcoming federal budget that could have a fiscal impact on the state, and those could be significant. Roughly 40 percent of Michigan’s state budget comes from federal funds, so cuts to the Affordable Care Act, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or block granting of federal funding for states could put a significant strain on state coffers.

As CREC kicks off the annual state budget process, the League has released its 2019 state budget priorities, budget advocacy tips and timeline and data-driven fact sheets. The League’s priorities and related fact sheets outline investments needed in child care, education, healthcare, juvenile justice, immigration, and more.

“If the goal of elected officials is to help Michigan kids, families, workers, seniors and people with disabilities have a better life, the League has outlined a number of ways to do that, but it requires stewardship and investment, not shortsighted tax cuts,” Jacobs said. “Last year, we were honored to have some of our budget priorities included in the governor’s budget presentation and many passed with bipartisan support by the Legislature. We hope that the needs of our residents can stay above the political fray and our analyses can continue to speak up for them in the budget process.”

The League also encourages lawmakers to heed a new poll from EPIC-MRA that came out this week revealing what issues Michigan voters truly care about—and what ones they don’t. Just four percent of voters said that “Keeping state and local income taxes low” was a top priority. Results of the poll showed instead that Michiganders strongly support investment in our state and many of the League’s budget priorities.

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

Michigan Legislature must do much more to fix unemployment system, support workers

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2018

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

Despite bills passed to address false fraud issue, Michigan is still worst state for unemployed workers in Midwest

LANSING—While the Michigan Legislature recently passed bills to address the devastating false fraud accusations leveled at nearly 50,000 unemployed workers, a new report calls on lawmakers to do much more to modernize and improve Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance. Falling Short 2017: Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Continues to Neglect Many Workers Who Need It, released today by the Michigan League for Public Policy, compares Michigan’s unemployment system to neighboring states in the region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) and shows we are last in nearly every category.

According to the report, Michigan still pays the lowest maximum benefit and its average weekly benefit as a percent of wages remains lowest in the Midwest. Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance program provides the fewest weeks of benefits in the region, which were cut from 26 weeks to 20 in 2011, and also covers the lowest percentage of workers. Michigan also spends far less on Unemployment Insurance per unemployed worker than several other Midwest states.

“You can’t be a great state to work in and an awful place to be unemployed,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “We need to be supporting our workers at every turn, including when they’re struggling to find a job. Unemployment happens, and while our rate has improved, how we support our residents looking for work has a ripple effect throughout our communities and local economies.”

When compared with the other Midwestern states, Michigan’s maximum unemployment benefit ranks last, both as a nominal amount and as a percent of the state average weekly wage. Michigan’s maximum was significantly below the other states at only 37 percent. The state’s average weekly benefit is 31 percent of its average weekly wage, last among the eight states.

In 2011, despite having one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation and having been hit especially hard by the economic downturn, Michigan’s Legislature voted to make Michigan the first state to reduce the maximum number of weeks of basic Unemployment Insurance from 26 weeks to 20 weeks. This change took effect in January 2012. No other Midwest state has reduced its benefit weeks this drastically; the one other Midwest state to reduce its weeks, Illinois, shaved off only one week but restored the maximum to 26 a couple years later.

“Losing a job or struggling to find one is hard enough psychologically and financially, and Michigan’s poor unemployment system only compounds those problems,” Jacobs said. “The false fraud issue raised a lot of questions about how the system operates, and many of those are being remedied. But with lower average and maximum benefits and fewer weeks of unemployment than any other state in the Midwest, there’s much more that needs to be done.”

The League supported the legislation to address the Unemployment Insurance fraud issue and the state’s move in 2012 to adopt an Unemployment Insurance work-sharing program. As the Legislature considers further Unemployment Insurance legislation, it should take into account whether such legislation will strengthen Michigan’s system and bring it in line with other states or cause it to fall further behind in responding to the needs of workers.

The report includes some other recommendations for policymakers, including:

  • Restore the 26-week maximum for unemployment benefits;
  • Peg the maximum benefit to the average weekly wage;
  • Lower the minimum base period and high quarter earnings requirements for unemployed workers to collect unemployment benefits;
  • Expand eligibility for UI to unemployed workers seeking part-time work, workers who left their jobs out of necessity for compelling family reasons, and/or workers who became unemployed and are using their time to acquire new skills through training rather than looking for immediate employment; and
  • Raise the dependents’ allowance from $6 to $15.

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

Snyder’s state personal exemption restoration is right fix for federal tax change

For Immediate Release
January 8, 2018

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on Governor Rick Snyder’s proposal to uphold Michigan’s personal exemption in light of the recently-passed federal tax plan that stands to raise residents’ state taxes. This statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“Governor Snyder’s proposal to restore the state personal exemption is the right move and the fairest approach to benefit all taxpayers at all income levels equally. This fix is needed quickly to provide Michigan taxpayers some clarity as they plan for the next tax year, and hopefully the Legislature will heed this urgency and embrace this equity.

“But instead, some Republicans are using this problem to again tout a state income tax rollback that will disproportionately benefit the wealthy. As we asserted all last year, that is the short-sighted, imbalanced and politicized approach—the exact opposite of what Michigan workers and their families really need. We know that 2018 is an election year, but we hope that doesn’t start derailing sound public policy already.”

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

Thousands of immigrant families in Michigan may be spending their last holiday together without DACA fix

For Immediate Release
December 20, 2017

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

New report shows 5,400 immigrants and $418 million in economic activity in jeopardy in Michigan

LANSING—Over half a million Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, including 5,400 in Michigan, face an uncertain holiday season as their dreams of citizenship have been stalled by the U.S. Justice Department. While these young immigrants should be excited to register for a new semester of classes, enjoy their workplace holiday party, spend time with loved ones or take part in community events, these Dreamers are instead spending their holidays worried that they may be forced to return to living in the shadows, fearing for their futures.

A new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy, The Benefits of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on Immigrants in Michigan, delves into the positive impact of DACA on enrollees in the state—and the devastation its recent termination will have on Michigan’s immigrant families, communities and economy.

In Michigan, thousands of immigrants currently enrolled in the federal DACA program stand to lose their ability to work and go to school without fear of deportation. These young “Dreamers” came to the United States as children and identify as Americans in every sense of the world, but do not have legal status. The DACA program, established in 2012, granted temporary reprieve from deportation and a renewable two-year work permit to Dreamers who met requirements.

“Dreamers in Michigan are students who balance work and college courses, employees pursuing professional dreams, family members helping to contribute to their household income and consumers working to afford a car or a home. They are contributors to our state’s economy and tax base in a variety of ways,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “These young immigrants are a vital part of our state and key to a vibrant future, and federal policymakers should be working to keep them here.”

If these Dreamers leave Michigan, their economic contributions leave, too. According to the report, DACA beneficiaries contribute $13 million in state and local tax revenue. And the state would see a $418 million annual GDP loss without these individuals.

This is in addition to the personal devastation that Dreamers face with the end of DACA. Loss of income, loss of a driver’s license and loss of educational opportunities lead directly to the loss of a future.

“Just a few months ago, DACA recipients were looking forward to a safe and secure life in the United States. Today, they must deal with uncertainties and even potential deportation to ‘homelands’ that are unfamiliar. This type of treatment is despicable and goes against our American values. The League encourages policies that allow all residents to thrive instead of these efforts to tear us apart, right down to our very families,” Jacobs said.

Research shows that inclusive immigration policies are best, and the report recommends the following:

  • A pathway to citizenship that provides long-term relief from deportation;
  • Tuition-equity policies that allow DACA beneficiaries to be considered eligible for in-state tuition at universities and private colleges;
  • Access to occupational and professional licenses so that DACA beneficiaries can put their education and training into action; and
  • Policies for social and economic inclusion that eliminate barriers to success for Michigan’s immigrant families.

A recent wave of anti-immigration legislation raises concerns as thousands of immigrant families across the nation and here in Michigan have become the object of scrutiny and .

“We know that inclusive immigration policies help all Michiganders, so we were dismayed to see that the Michigan Legislature is moving forward with HB 4053, an anti-immigrant bill that would make English the official state language. Policies like this do nothing but divide our state and distract people from the real issues facing our residents,” Jacobs said.

Over the last year, the League has continued to lift up the contributions of Michigan immigrants, including producing an overview of immigrants in Michigan and county-by-county immigration fact sheets.

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

New Kids Count report offers solutions on how to improve child well-being in Michigan

For Immediate Release
November 29, 2017

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

Policy blueprint for Michigan lawmakers would turn around abysmal national, regional rankings

LANSING—The well-being of Michigan’s kids has continued to decline and lag behind other states in recent years, hurting Michigan’s ability to be a competitive state and attract and retain talent, families and businesses. But there are many opportunities and bills before the Michigan Legislature right now to better support kids in the state, according to a new Kids Count report, Enhancing Child Well-Being in Michigan: A Guide to Improving KIDS COUNT Outcomes and Rankings, released today by the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The report was made possible by support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, an ongoing supporter of the League’s work in Michigan. For the report released today, the League looked at Michigan’s rankings in the 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book produced in June by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, crunched and compared numbers, connected the child well-being indicators to policies that can improve them, and set tangible data goals for legislators to strive for. Michigan’s national ranking of 41st in education (with 1st being the best) raised particular concern, but child poverty is also a major problem in the state.

“While we include policy recommendations in all of our work, this report goes a step further and sets concrete, data-driven measurable goals to support our kids and improve our national standing,” said Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count in Michigan project director at the Michigan League for Public Policy. “Many lawmakers look at Michigan’s rankings in the national KIDS COUNT Data Book and say, ‘Now what?’ Here are some real policy solutions they can pass to make a genuine difference.”

Overall, Michigan was ranked 32nd in child well-being in the 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book, finishing behind all other Great Lakes states: Minnesota (4th), Wisconsin (12th), Illinois (19th), Ohio (24th) and Indiana (28th).

The annual KIDS COUNT Data Book uses 16 indicators to rank all 50 states across four domains—health, education, economic well-being, and family and community—that represent what children need most to thrive. In the 2017 Data Book, Michigan received the following national rankings:

  • 31st in economic well-being. On par with the national average, 7 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds are not attending school or working.
  • 41st in education. Seventy-one percent of eighth-graders are performing below proficiency in math and 71 percent of fourth-graders are reading below proficiency.
  • 29th in family and community. Since 2009, the percentage of children living in high-poverty areas has remained unchanged at 17 percent.
  • 17th in health. A bright spot for Michigan is the percentage of children with health insurance. Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act and the Healthy Michigan Plan, just 3 percent of Michigan children lack coverage, an improvement on the national average of 5 percent.

The Enhancing Child Well-Being in Michigan report builds on these rankings and quantifies how much Michigan would need to improve—and how many kids would need to be better served—to move Michigan’s national ranking up one or more spots, five or more spots, and what it would take for Michigan to be the No. 1 state (best) in the nation.

The report’s recommendations include broad strategies that should be applied to all policies affecting kids, like taking a two-generation approach to help children by helping their parents and applying a racial equity lens to all policies to reduce the significant disparities that exist in Michigan. It also urges the passage of legislation currently before the Legislature that could have an immediate impact, like raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction and restoring the state Earned Income Tax Credit. And finally, it recognizes positive, bipartisan movement that has already been made to help kids, like increased funding for students and schools with high rates of poverty and investments in child care in the current budget, and urges it to continue.

“This report covers all the policy bases and offers legislators a variety of helpful and realistic recommendations to make Michigan a more kid- and family-friendly state,” Guevara Warren said. “Lawmakers are always pointing to other states’ tax changes, economic incentives and even ad campaigns to try to emulate policies to make Michigan more marketable, but we really need greater investment in our state’s most valuable resource—our kids.”

Another recent national KIDS COUNT report produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, looked at the KIDS COUNT indicators and child well-being by race and ethnicity. The report’s scores showed that African-American children in Michigan fare worse in key indicators than in any other state in the country and that children of color are doing worse than their White peers in nearly all indicators across education, health, family and community, and economic security. The Enhancing Child Well-Being in Michigan report also seeks to reduce these wide racial disparities and help make Michigan a better state for kids of color.

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About the Kids Count in Michigan Project

The Kids Count in Michigan project is part of a broad national effort to improve conditions for children and their families. Funding for the project is provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, Steelcase Foundation, Frey Foundation, Michigan Education Association, American Federation of Teachers Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, DTE Energy Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, Battle Creek Community Foundation and the Fetzer Institute.

The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

U.S. House tax plan: Benefit for richest 1 percent in Michigan grows over time

For Immediate Release
November 6, 2017

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@milhs.org
517.487.5436

LANSING—A new 50-state analysis of the House tax plan released by Congress last week reveals that in Michigan the wealthiest 1 percent of Michiganians will receive the greatest share of the total tax cut in year one and their share would grow through 2027. Further, the value of the tax cut would decline over time for every income group in Michigan except the very richest.

House leadership continues to tout this tax proposal, which will increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, as a plan to boost the middle class. But a closer examination of the bill’s provisions reveals that it is laser-focused on tax cuts for the nation’s highest earning households. The wealthiest Michiganians’ share of Michigan’s tax cuts would grow over time due to phase-ins of tax cuts that mostly benefit the rich and the eventual elimination or erosion in value of provisions that benefit low- and middle-income taxpayers. For example, after five years, the bill eliminates a $300 non-child dependent credit that benefits low- and middle-income families while fully repealing the estate tax in year six for the very large estates subject to the tax.

More specifically, the 10-year outlook for the plan reveals that by 2027, the top 1 percent of households in Michigan’s share of the tax cut would increase from 33 percent in 2018 to 47 percent by 2027, for an average cut of $77,380. Middle-income taxpayers’ average tax cut would erode to $590 in 2027 from $730 in 2018, and the poorest 20 percent’s average tax cut would decline from $110 in 2018 to $100 in 2027.

“This bill may cut taxes for some low- and middle-income households, but it also raises taxes on some of these families and many others will see no benefit at all. But let’s be clear: it is still the case that this plan will primarily benefit the rich, across the nation and in Michigan,” said Karen Holcomb-Merrill, Vice President of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “We have sent our elected officials to the nation’s capital to represent us, but what they are saying is just as important as what they are not saying. These tax cuts that mostly benefit top earners will add to the nation’s annual deficits and come at the expense of low- and middle-income families who will likely lose more from cuts to education, healthcare, infrastructure or other public services than they gain from the small cuts they would receive.”

Following are some highlights of how the plan specifically affects Michigan:

  • Richest 1 percent of Michigan taxpayers would receive largest tax cut as a share of income under the House tax proposal in 2018 and 2027.
  • The share of low- and middle-income Michigan taxpayers seeing a tax hike under the House proposal increases between 2018 and 2027.
  • Average tax cuts to top 1 percent of Michigan taxpayers dwarf those going to all other income groups under the House tax proposal in 2018 and 2027.

To read the entire report or get more details about Michigan, go to http://itep.org/housetaxplan.

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.milhs.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

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