tax

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, Leelanau voters will decide the fate of an early childhood program.

Plus, tribal and city officials celebrate the new Clinch Park art installation honoring the Anishinaabek.

 

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

A program that’s been providing services to Leelanau County young children for twenty years is out of money. To save it, the program’s supporters are asking the community to pay a five year tax that would keep it afloat. Others argue the program overlaps with other government services.

Research shows the first five years of a child’s life are critical to their development and can have lifelong effects. Leelanau County is asking residents to pay a tax that will continue funding a program supporters claim will help children ages zero to five in the county.

The Next Idea

In a recent interview, Microsoft founder Bill Gates created quite a stir when he suggested that robots be taxed because society will not be able to manage the speed and magnitude of the impending automation of everything.

While his intent was to suggest ways to stave off the massive social unrest that will surely come with wholesale unemployment, it wasn’t a week before the editorial staffs at the Economist and BusinessWeek weighed in on impracticality of the idea, saying it would slow down technology investment and automation rates, and seriously damage American competitiveness.

Michigan Files Tax Liens Against CIA

Jul 14, 2014

The Michigan Department of Treasury is going after the CIA for unpaid taxes. At least, that’s what newly uncovered documents would suggest.

Three tax liens were evidently filed by the Michigan Department of Treasury against the CIA between February 2012 and March of this year. They claim the agency did not pay state income taxes on behalf of an undisclosed number of CIA employees working in the state.

The documents were first reported by the Lansing State Journal.

Michigan Road Funding Plans In Flux

Jun 4, 2014
Peter Payette

It looked like there might be a wave of bipartisan cooperation in Lansing. Lawmakers recently voted to raise the state’s minimum wage and contribute almost $200 million to help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore with road funding negotiations in flux.

State lawmakers want to find a way to increase funding for roads in the next couple weeks. That’s when they leave Lansing for the summer.

Michigan has been cutting taxes for the past 20 years. The key selling point has been that slashing taxes will create economic prosperity.

A new report by the former head of the state Treasury Department's Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis, Douglas Drake, says these tax cuts have instead drained Michigan of economic life, with our per-capita income rank tumbling, and our unemployment rate way above the national average.

Charles Ballard is an economist from Michigan State University.

*Listen to the full show above.

Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

Michigan lawmakers want to make sure local governments do not take a hit if voters decide to repeal an unpopular tax on business equipment.

State officials are urging voters to repeal the tax. They say it is outdated and kills jobs. But local governments depend on that tax to provide basic services to residents.

On Tuesday, lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation that would fully compensate cities, towns, and counties if the tax is phased out.

Tax Credits/Flickr

 

 Many northern Michigan business owners have a new tax opportunity from the state, but might not be seizing it. The state of Michigan enacted changes late last year that allows business owners an $80,000 dollar exemption to personal property taxes. The required forms are due by February 10.

Area city and county officials are worried property owners are not taking advantage. Petoskey city assessor Robert Englebrecht says he’s noticed local owners have not been filling out the new form, although they are the target.

Tax Credits/Flickr

Governor Rick Snyder is decidedly cool about the tax cut fever sweeping the state Capitol. That fever stems from a projected budget surplus for the current fiscal year that could be more than a half a billion dollars in this fiscal year.

“Let’s get the facts first and then let’s make sure we’re being fiscally responsible for the long term,” he told reporters this week. “Because it’s not just about looking at rollbacks. It’s looking at the best long-term solution for our citizens.” 

State Tax Cut Plan In The Works

Jan 8, 2014
Tax Credits/Flickr

Republican state lawmakers hope to introduce legislation this month that would cut Michigan’s income tax rate. The plan would take the rate from 4.25% down to 3.9%.

Supporters of the idea say it would save Michigan taxpayers somewhere around $200 million a year. And with a budget surplus estimated at more than $1 billion over the next couple of years, they say the state can afford an election-year tax cut.

Some Republicans say they hope to draw down the income tax even lower than 3.9% if the state’s finances continue to improve.