Snyder Budget Recommendation Overall A Win for NM Business
Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his proposed budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Below is a brief summary of some of the budget highlights:
- $322 million increase to K-12 budget.
- $150 million in additional foundation allowance, which would be $111 more per student for northern Michigan schools.
- $270 million more in direct payments for education retirement liabilities (MPSERS).
- 6.1% increase to higher education – including northern Michigan universities and community colleges.
- $254 million to fully match federal funds for roads and bridges.
- $2 million boost to Pure Michigan.
- $6 million in new funding for the prevention, detection, and eradication of invasive species.
- $2.5 million in new funding for trails, and $6.5 million for state parks.
- $2.5 million for the Regional Prosperity Program.
- $120 million to the Rainy Day fund (bringing it to more than $700 million).
- To return some of the surplus, Gov. Snyder proposed expanding the existing Homestead Property Tax credit to taxpayers with incomes of up to $60,000 household income. The tax relief will target mid- to low-income earners, low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and renters. The plan would be expected to return $102.7 million.
Overall, the budget has been viewed as good for northern Michigan business. The Governor continues his past trend of investing in roads and transportation infrastructure, manufacturing and high-tech job creation and growth, higher education – including northern Michigan community colleges and universities, tourism and natural resources-based funding, paying down long term liabilities to stabilize future budgets and improve the state’s bond rating, and K-12 education funding – including equity relief for northern Michigan schools who receive lower per-pupil foundation payments, and early childhood funding.
More details of the state budget debate will be coming out soon, so stay tuned and check out the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance blog at www.nmichiganbusiness.com .