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Report: MI Can't Tax Its Way To the Top

GRAPHIC: A new report questions what more than a decade worth of deep budget cuts has done for the state, and offers suggestions for improving Michigan's economy through investments and new revenue sources. Courtesy Michigan League for Public Policy.
GRAPHIC: A new report questions what more than a decade worth of deep budget cuts has done for the state, and offers suggestions for improving Michigan's economy through investments and new revenue sources. Courtesy Michigan League for Public Policy.
November 20, 2013

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan lawmakers are being urged to think differently, in a new report about how best to stimulate the state's economy and move away from the legacy of budget cuts and tax breaks for businesses.

According to the Michigan League for Public Policy, it's time to reinvest in education, public safety and infrastructure. The league's policy director, Karen Holcomb-Merrill, said those are among 10 recommendations offered to lift Michigan out of its economic doldrums.

"Those kinds of investments are the ones that are going to draw businesses to our communities, going to keep our young adults in the state," she said.

According to Gov. Rick Snyder's administration, the $1.7 billion-per-year business tax cuts enacted in 2012 were necessary to make the state competitive.

Holcomb-Merrill said taxes are just one piece of what will or will not make Michigan a business-friendly climate. She said it's critical for lawmakers to understand the ripple effect that budget cuts to core services have on all those who live and do business in the state.

"Businesses still rely on nice communities for their employees to live in," she said. "They rely on good roads and bridges as they travel around the state. So, it's important that businesses are paying their fair share."

She noted that Snyder's business tax cut came with a $1.4 billion increase in annual individual income taxes.

The full report, which also offers suggestions for generating revenue, is on the Michigan League for Public Policy website, mlpp.org.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI