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taxes

Rendering of the memorial
Michigan World War II Legacy Memorial Board

 

Governor Snyder has signed a new tax law that offers assistance to a proposed World War Two memorial in Oakland County.

The law adds the Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial to the list of organizations you'll be able to donate to through your state income tax return.

Deb Hollis is the president of the Michigan World War II Legacy Memorial Board. She joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss the current status of the Memorial and effect of this new law. 

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: Three of four Republicans share tax returns. Bill Schuette said he will soon.

May 22, 2018
income tax
ccPixs.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Three of the four GOP candidates for Michigan’s governor have released their 2017 federal income tax returns, following a financial disclosure request from Bridge Magazine.

The fourth, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, the presumed frontrunner, filed for an extension with the IRS, his campaign said, with 2017 returns to be released when they are available.

But it was real estate, not tax returns, that has escalated tensions in the last week between Schuette and Republican rival Lt. Gov. Brian Calley over Schuette’s finances.

Courtesy of Fritz Allhoff

It’s quite the journey from Kalamazoo to Alaska – to tiny towns like Nulato, with a population of 259.

But a team from Western Michigan University has made that journey each year since 2014. They head to isolated small towns like Nulato to help people there with their taxes.

Images Money / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Taxes are due tomorrow, so if you haven’t filed your income taxes by now, you are, quite literally, waiting until the eleventh hour.

Here’s something to chew on as we count down to tomorrow’s deadline: most of us don’t know how much we actually pay Uncle Sam.

New research from Michigan State University finds a huge percentage of us think we pay more federal taxes than we actually do.

Allan Cleaver / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The clock is ticking. CPAs and tax attorneys are working long hours right now as taxes are due in less than a month.

But what should we be doing now so that filing for 2018 goes smoothly, in light of the huge tax reform bill that was recently passed?

Looming financial disasters for Michigan

Mar 6, 2018

Our legislators in Lansing have just enacted a tax cut that will be relatively meaningless for most, great for the rich, but which will leave our cash-strapped state with less revenue.

That wasn’t much of a concern for our lawmakers, all of whom will be gone within a few years, thanks to term limits. It ought to be more of a concern for citizens who have to worry about their kids’ educations, or dodge potholes the size of Lake St. Clair. We also know that our neglected infrastructure is fast falling apart, something we try hard to ignore.

capitol building
Wikimedia Commons

The federal tax overhaul could affect Michigan's tax code. The federal personal exemption has been eliminated, but Michigan has state deductions tied to it. Gov. Snyder wants to restore the state's personal exemption, so that Michigan doesn't collect more tax than it would have before. 

Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and Jack Lessenberry discuss what this could mean for Michigan taxpayers.

Governor Rick Snyder has proposed a plan to offset tax increases on Michigan families as a result of the federal tax overhaul. The main component is to allow Michigan taxpayers to continue to claim a four thousand dollar personal exemption on their state taxes.

Senator Debbie Stabenow
USDAgov / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The clock is ticking down to when the U.S. Congress is scheduled to leave for its holiday break.

But a lot could happen within this next week, especially with Congress poised to deal with several major issues, including the Republicans’ tax overhaul and funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow sat down with Stateside to discuss those issues and more.

Zócalo Public Square / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

Congress wants to present a final version of tax reform to President Donald Trump by Christmas.

Many public and private colleges are hoping for some changes before the legislation reaches the president’s desk.

In a statement, Mary Sue Coleman, the president of the Association of American Universities, recently outlined some of the major concerns. Coleman, who is a former president of the University of Michigan, joined Stateside to talk about her concerns.

President Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This week’s elections are over, and Republicans did badly. GOP leaders are now saying openly that they need to pass a tax bill or face losing the House of Representatives next year.

Well, a year can be a long time in politics.

Thirty-five years ago, in Ronald Reagan’s first mid-term election, Democrats made huge gains, and the experts predicted Reagan might be a one-term president. Instead, two years later, he won 49 of the 50 states.

So you never can tell. But I am more interested in what President Trump’s tax bill would mean for all of us. So I turned to Economics Professor Charles Ballard at Michigan State, a man who for many years has specialized in the Michigan economy.

Pneedham / Flickr

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan municipalities would be prohibited from levying local taxes on food and beverages under a bill advancing to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk for his expected signature.

No local government in Michigan is now considering such a tax. But lawmakers say it is possible, pointing to Philadelphia and Chicago as places with soda taxes. Similar taxes have been approved in San Francisco and Oakland, California.

Citizens vs. Taxpayers

Aug 25, 2017
Jack Lessenbery
Michigan Radio

I had lunch yesterday with Mark Bernstein, the University of Michigan trustee who flirted with a run for governor next year before deciding not to.

He is smart, funny, and I think genuinely committed to making the university and this state a better place. We were talking about what’s wrong with state government when he said something that suddenly hit me like a revelation.

We were talking about how attitudes have changed, and he said, “I think a big part of it is that instead of seeing ourselves as citizens, we now see ourselves as taxpayers.”

jimmywayne / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

What can a city facing $200 million in long term debt do?

Raising taxes is one option.

That’s why the City of East Lansing has drawn up an income tax proposal for the November ballot. If approved by voters, residents would pay a 1% tax on their income. Non-residents who work in the city would pay 0.5%.

Tampons.
user m.p.3. / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The so-called “tampon tax” has got to go. That’s the message of lawmakers in both chambers of the state Legislature.

Democrats and a couple Republicans are teaming up to get rid of Michigan’s use tax and sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

Michigan exempts food, medication and other necessities from taxes, and lawmakers argue feminine hygiene products are just as essential. 

Photo courtesy of the Snyder administration

There’s a split emerging between Governor Rick Snyder and Republican leaders in the Legislature over cutting taxes.

Governor Snyder will present a budget next week for the coming fiscal year. Some Republican leaders in the Legislature are pushing for tax cuts. That includes an income tax rollback and some lawmakers are taking aim at the tax on pensions.

Snyder is pushing back. The pension tax was one of his first budget reforms after he took office in 2011. Snyder says that was only fair to people who were paying taxes on 401 (k) and other retirement plans.

For a while yesterday, it looked as if we might have some hope of better things from Lansing.

New Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, seems to be a genuinely well-liked man, who has talked about reaching across party lines.

Dictionary defintion of tax
FLICKR USER ALAN CLEAVER/FLICKR

ESCANABA, Mich. (AP) - An Upper Peninsula city has won a key ruling in a legal dispute over how to value big-box stores for tax purposes.

Value has been a hot issue in Michigan, especially in the U.P. where communities have been forced to give refunds based on decisions by the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

But Escanaba successfully argued that the Tribunal used the wrong standard to determine the value of a Menards store. In a 3-0 decision released Friday, the Michigan appeals court sent the case back to the Tribunal for more work.

dictionary definition of tax
Flickr user Alan Cleaver/Flickr

The so-called "dark store" approach to valuing property — an approach which allows stores to base their property taxes on the stores that have closed around them — has allowed big box stores in Michigan to cut their taxes by at least $100 million. It has left communities around the state struggling to find the money they need to pay for municipal services.

 

Some politicians, including state Rep. David Maturen, R-Vicksburg, hopes to close the dark store tax loophole with bipartisan legislation, House Bill 5578.

Report: Michigan's tax burden below national average

May 2, 2016
money
user penywise / morgueFile

Not many people like paying taxes, but at least Michigan residents get to say "it could be worse." 

Citizens Research Council of Michigan's new report shows the state ranks 35th in state and local tax burden compared to the other states in the U.S. and Washington, D.C., according to data from 2013. 

Michigan was among the top ten states nationally for property tax burden 30 years ago, but is now 26th for per capita property tax revenue, the report said. 

FLICKR USER ALAN CLEAVER / FLICKR

April 15th, the looming tax deadline, is approaching.

While it can be complicated for anyone to figure out what we owe Lansing and Uncle Sam, there’s a particular group facing extra complications: same-sex couples in Michigan. These couples can file a joint form for their federal taxes, but the state of Michigan considers them single.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

People heading to the library to pick up paper copies of federal tax forms are disappointed to find many of them aren’t there this year.

The IRS is saving money by sending libraries only the most common forms on paper. You can find tax forms online and e-file or print them at the library. But the instruction book is more than 100 pages long.

Prisons are overfilling with an increasingly aging population.
User kIM DARam / flickr.com

Getting tough on crime. For many, that means putting criminals behind bars, lengthy sentences, and tough parole guidelines.

World Resources Institute

Are cash-starved state legislatures taxing the energy industry as much as they could? 

Barry Rabe is director of the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State and Urban Policy. He's one of the co-authors of a new report that tracks how states are taxing thousands of new oil and gas wells.

Rabe says so-called severance taxes arose from the question, ‘What happens when you take a non-renewable natural resource and remove it for some kind of use?’

He says it's an issue some states are facing for the first time, including North Dakota, which is booming because of oil. Rabe notes that 65% of North Dakota’s budget will come from energy taxes.

Alliance for Retired Americans / Flickr

Seniors could play an important role in the upcoming election, as Michiganders age 50 and older are expected to represent well over half of the voters who show up to the polls next week. That’s pretty typical of a non-presidential election. But as Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports, seniors and retirees are playing an especially important role in this year’s election.

Death is certain, but taxes?

Oct 8, 2014

There’s an old saying I know you’ve heard: “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin said that, by the way. He was a shrewd old cynic who I think would be much more at home in the world today than the other founding fathers.

And I’d also guess Old Ben wouldn’t be surprised to know that his death-and-taxes maxim was, like most things, only about half right. Death remains certain, even if we don’t know where or when. But there is very little certain about taxes.

Oh, we are certain to be taxed, in one form or another. Which is a good thing, if you like clean water, fire departments and schools.

But who pays and who should pay the taxes?

What we should be asking is: How high should taxes be? How do you set tax rates to give us the services we need and help the economy grow? To me, those are terribly important questions.Well, we now have some answers.

TIF mismanagement can lead to blight.
Flickr.com

 

Tax increment financing, or TIF, is a flexible tool for downtown development authority boards aiming to encourage private investment and increase the taxable value of their municipality.

TIFs enable portions of a city’s regular property tax to be used for economic development, without a vote from taxpayers. There are eight types of authorities in Michigan that can engage in this type of financing.

David Bieri is an assistant professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan.

Bieri explains the good and bad uses of TIFs. In the early 2000s, DDAs from Kalamazoo to Detroit addressed blight through brownfield remitigation. On the other hand, Bieri cites Bloomfield Park, the unfinished mini-city in Bloomfield Hills, as an example of TIFs gone bad: Blight was created rather than mitigated. 

The Michigan State Capitol.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill to clarify that Michigan never intended to give out-of-state companies a lower tax liability in a 2007 business tax overhaul.

The legislation is designed to ensure the state isn't forced to pay $1.1 billion in refunds in 134 cases after a July ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court in a case involving IBM. The administration and lawmakers worried the court's 4-3 decision could affect other cases in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 tax years.

Snyder said in statement Friday that the bill is a "common-sense solution" encouraging companies to invest and create jobs in Michigan. The state estimates most of the $1.1 billion in refunds would have been paid in the fiscal year that starts in October, throwing the budget out of balance.

They used to say that the definition of a recession was when your neighbor lost his job, and a depression was when you lost yours.

Well, after this week’s monumental Detroit-area rainstorm and flood, we now have a new definition for our dictionary of popular economics. You can say that wasteful government spending is when Washington or Lansing helps someone else.

Proper allocation of scarce resources is when they help -- you.

That may sound like a joke, but all too many people subconsciously feel that way.

You need only drive through the streets of communities like blue-collar Warren and more affluent Huntington Woods to get a sense of the scope of this week’s destruction.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has called on Washington for assistance, saying “if the federal government can help flood-damaged communities in various countries, I think they can help flood damage in the city of Warren.”

Good luck with that.

IRS Form 1040.
stockphotosforfree.com

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.

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