For Immediate Release
June 29, 2020
Longer-term fiscal crisis and revenue needs still must be addressed
LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on bipartisan FY 2019-2020 budget agreement between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature. The statement can be attributed to Alex Rossman, External Affairs Director for the Michigan League for Public Policy.
“The fact that there’s a bipartisan budget agreement is good news, as is the fact that the Legislature and governor are in agreement that we need to tap into the budget stabilization fund and call on Congress for more federal money. While more detail is needed, Michigan kids, schools, parents, local governments and more can breathe a sigh of relief that the work to tackle the COVID health and fiscal crisis is moving forward.
“That being said, this still only addresses the most immediate budget crunch in the current fiscal year. We recently called for new state revenue to address the COVID crisis, and two of the top recommendations are in today’s agreement. Let’s hope policymakers can continue to keep an open mind about the state’s dire budget needs—and whether we compound the crisis with cuts or have the courage to beat it back with new revenue and sound investment.”
The League recently released a report, COVID-19 Crisis Highlights Need for More State Revenue, urging lawmakers to address the state’s lack of revenue in order to avoid a deep economic crisis brought on by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The report’s revenue recommendations included:
- Advocate for additional federal relief that is flexible and tied to state economic conditions and COVID-related revenue shortfalls.
- Take maximum advantage of the state’s Countercyclical Budget and Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the rainy day fund.
- Ensure that corporations are paying their fair share for the services that support their businesses.
- Modernize the state sales tax to reflect the current economy and the growth of the services sector.
- Reform the state’s estate tax by decoupling it from the federal estate tax.
- Reform Michigan’s personal income tax to make it more progressive and based on the ability to pay.
- Reevaluate the effectiveness of tax expenditures.
The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.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.