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Michigan voters will be asked to approve a 1 cent increase in the 6 percent sales tax as part of a road funding plan Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders announced Thursday.
The sales tax increase to 7 percent would be partially dedicated to replacing revenue for schools and cities lost by repealing the sales tax on fuel, according to a draft of the plan obtained by The Detroit News.
Under the plan, the sales tax on gasoline would be swapped for a new motor fuels tax entirely dedicated to roads, eventually generating $1.2 billion in new annual funding for roads and bridges and another $100 million for mass transit in three years.
The deal hinges on voters approving a May 2015 amendment to the state Constitution increasing the sales and use tax. If voters approve the sales tax increase, a new percentage-based fuel tax that would be the equivalent of the current per-gallon fuel taxes would be implemented on Oct. 1, 2015, according to the plan.
The statewide ballot measure is scheduled in five months because of the large amount damage being done to Michigan's roads, Snyder said at a noon press conference.
For the full article, see Chad Livengood, "Voters will be asked for tax increase to fix roads", Detroit News, December 18, 2014.
For another article, see Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray, "Lawmakers work out deal to hike sales tax to pay for roads", Detroit Free Press, December 18, 2014.
The following statement was released by Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, in reaction to the road funding compromise announced today by the Michigan Legislature.
“This bipartisan compromise is truly a reason to celebrate. If lawmakers and then voters approve, the plan will fix the roads without taking away from Michigan’s kids, and protects those earning the least by restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit to 20 percent of the federal credit.
“In fact, the larger EITC would benefit more than 1 million kids in Michigan. It would help working families stay on the job by assisting them with transportation costs and would lift many more families from poverty.
“This is a welcome holiday package wrapped up with a bow.”
For more information on the EITC, see the League’s fact sheet
See the League’s road funding report
The Michigan League for Public Policy is a nonpartisan policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.
Source : Judy Putnam, Michigan League for Public Policy News Release, December 18, 2014.
Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to announce the creation of a new state department that will put emphasis on developing a workforce and talent pool that better fits the needs of employers.
Snyder has scheduled a 10:15 a.m. news conference today at which he is to detail an executive order creating a new state Department of Talent and Economic Development, sources told the Free Press on Wednesday.
The new agency will oversee the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Unemployment Agency, the Michigan Workforce Development Agency, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
It will be headed by Steve Arwood, the former director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, who is now the chief operating officer of the MEDC.
Michael Finney, the current CEO of the MEDC, will move to new responsibilities in the governor's office, sources said.
For the full article, see Paul Egan and Tom Walsh, "Snyder to announce new Michigan agency to develop talent", Detroit Free Press, December 18, 2014.
It’s the end of the road for the Michigan Legislature’s 2013-14 legislative session, which is set to conclude with final House and Senate meetings on Thursday.
Any bills not approved by the end of the day — or perhaps the wee hours of Friday morning — will end up on the ash heaps of history. Or they’ll be resurrected next year.
For the full article, see Jonathan Oosting, "Michigan lame-duck watch: Last chance for road funding, medical marijuana bills and more", MLive, December 18, 2014.
Kalamazoo speech: King spoke at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo on Dec. 18, 1963, four months after the March on Washington and weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. About 2,000 people showed up during a snowstorm to hear King speak.
At the end of the speech, King said:
I believe that we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice. My faith is that somehow this problem will be solved. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation to a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
Read more about the speech from the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Yvonne Zipp, Western Michigan University to air 'lost' recording of Martin Luther King's 1963 speech in Kalamazoo, MLive, November 27, 2013.
To see a transcript of the original broadcast and photographs of King's speech, visit MLK at Western
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