Michigan tax revenues are officially on the rebound, which could be good news for K-12 schools facing cuts of at least $340 per pupil.
How much cash is added back in as lawmakers complete the fiscal 2012 budget in coming weeks depends on competing pressures lawmakers face.
Local school administrators and parents will argue that not only are the cuts approved so far too deep, they’re unnecessary given estimates today that show revenue up nearly $900 million total for fiscal 2011 and 2012.
Some lawmakers want to reopen the tax debate and drop the income tax rate down to 4.25 percent on Oct. 1, as current law requires. Under Snyder’s tax plan he’ll sign into law this month, the rate stays at 4.35 percent until Jan. 1, 2013.
"If Lansing seems interested in spending some of this estimated additional revenue, then I believe a significant portion of it should be used to drop the personal income tax rate...” said Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills.
When times are good, you cut taxes. When times are bad, you cut taxes. When your schools, roads, and public safety systems are crumbling all around you, you cut taxes. The Republican answer for every problem ever known to mankind is... cut taxes.
Had enough yet?
UPDATE: Looks like we have to award the first Andy Dillon Memorial Medal of Gullibility to... Gretchen Whitmer, who apparently hasn't been paying attention to how the Republicans operate these past few years.
East Lansing Democrat Gretchen Whitmer said she had a deal in place last week with Republican Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville of Monroe that is not being acknowledged by Governor Rick Snyder.
“We had an agreement that the cuts would be down to at least $245-per-pupil, which is a significant improvement from what the governor originally proposed,” Whitmer said.
“We had an agreement, and now they’re back-tracking. So, yeah, I am frustrated. I don’t know how you can move the state of Michigan forward and leave forced cuts on our schools that are unnecessary. These dollars need to go toward education, and they need to live up to the promise of that,” she said.
Supposedly there was a deal in place that if all the Democrats went on the board with a vote (allowing LG Calley to break the tie), some of the revenue would be put towards K-12. I'm not sure why the Democrats think that the Republicans give a damn about bipartisanship or keeping their word or anything like that... but there you go. Hopefully this was a "teaching moment", and we won't have to revisit it again.
UPDATE II: And just as I posted that, up comes a story about "Dealmaker" Randy Richardville telling a Republican crowd just today that we need to cut personal property taxes on businesses, too.
‘We can’t afford to scare businesses away,” said Richardville, R-Monroe, who appeared before about 75 people at the Saginaw County Republican Party Lincoln Day luncheon Monday at the Horizons Conference Center. The issue could arise in the fall.
Personal property taxes, or the taxes imposed on such things as machinery and equipment, help fuel local governments budgets, but cuts were needed, Richardville said, adding it could cause some “angst.”
And then he bragged about cutting unemployment benefits, and he spit on the Michigan's schools too.
Congratulations Michigan, you are officially a "red state" now. Enjoy your personal poverty. The Republicans certainly will.