What does an additional penny of gas tax buy in Michigan? (Center for Michigan)


February 8, 2013 – For each penny of gas or diesel tax, Michigan gets about $45 million for transportation funding needs that include roads. Both fuel and sales tax increases are being offered up in Lansing as ways to find more money to repair Michigan roads. Which is better, and how it affects the public, is a mixed bag. Gov. Rick Snyder has called for shifting Michigan’s per-gallon gasoline and diesel tax to a percentage tax at the wholesale level, increasing registration fees and allowing local registration fees. A penny of Michigan sales tax brings in about $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.

Link to Full Article: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/what_does_an_additional_penny.html


Reports and Studies Worth Reading – January 21, 2013

Reports and Studies Worth Reading – January 21, 2013:


Detroit Future City: Detroit Strategic Framework PlanDetroit Works Project Long Term Planning Steering Committee

“In 2010 an ambitious effort to re-imagine a better future for one of the world’s most important and storied cities was launched. The project has been both an exciting and, at times, challenging journey. It has also been a collective journey,  inviting diverse input from technical experts within Detroit and around the world and, most importantly, the community experts and everyday citizens who would be most affected by its recommendations. Each has played a critical role in forming what we hope will become a living framework for change and development in Detroit.”

$3 billion General Obligation Bond Proposal: Los Angeles Emergency Local Street Safety and Traffic Improvement MeasureLA City Council members Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino

“Street repair in Los Angeles was underfunded from the 1950’s to 1990’s, allowing many streets to deteriorate.  Funding of pavement preservation was steadily increased from 2005 to present, preventing further decline in road system quality.  Annual funding focuses on streets in A, B, and C condition.  The Los Angeles Emergency Local Street Safety and Traffic Improvement Measure is needed to finance repair of streets in D and Failed condition.”

Economic Outlook and Revenue Estimates for Michigan FY 2012/13 through FY 2014/15Michigan House Fiscal Agency

“This report includes a national and State economic forecast for calendar year 2012 through calendar year 2015.  It also presents preliminary final General Fund/General Purpose (GF/GP) and School Aid Fund (SAF) revenue for FY 2011-12., revised revenue estimates for FY 2012/13 and FY 2013/14 and initial estimates for FY 2014/15. Estimates reported herein will be presented to the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference on January 11, 2013 and will be used to facilitate the consensus estimating process.”

ASPE Issue Brief: Growth in Medicare Spending per Beneficiary Continues to Hit Historic LowsUS Department of Health and Human Services

“Medicare spending per beneficiary grew just 0.4% per capita in fiscal year 2012, continuing a pattern of very low growth in 2010 and 2011. Together with historically low projections of per capita growth from both the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary, these statistics show that the Affordable Care Act has helped to set Medicare on a more sustainable path to keep its commitment to seniors and persons with disabilities today and well into the future.”

NY Rising: 2013 State of the State  – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

“Two years ago, I said we were at a crossroads; that New York needed to chart a new course and begin a journey to rebuild our state. It was imperative that we restore the public trust and renew the dream and reverse decades of decline. We started a New York comeback. The core elements of a New NY are: attract good jobs and economic growth; create a world-class education system that prepares the next generation for the future; establish fiscal integrity and discipline; and restore New York as the progressive capital of the nation.”

2013 is a Good Year to Repair State Rainy Day FundsCenter on Budget and Policy Priorities

“The last decade’s roller-coaster economy has highlighted the importance of state “rainy day funds” — budget reserves for when recessions or other unexpected events cause revenue declines or spending increases. States with rainy day funds were able to avert over $20 billion in cuts to services and/or tax increases in the recession of the early 2000s. Rainy day funds also helped states avoid service cuts and tax increases in the most recent recession.”

Financial Challenges Facing Local Governments: Federal and State Aid Shrink as a Share of Revenues NY State Office of the Comptroller

“From 2001 to 2011, total federal and state aid combined, grew at an average rate of 2.2 percent annually, slower than the rate of inflation (2.4 percent). To cover expenses, local governments have been forced to rely more heavily on revenues generated through sales taxes and real property taxes, which grew at annual rates of 5.9 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. Federal aid to local governments grew by $932 million from 2001 to 2011, or by 3.5 percent annually on average. However, this increase is largely attributable to the infusion of temporary funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009.”

2013-14 California Governor’s Budget SummaryGovernor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

“California today is poised to achieve something that has eluded us for more than a decade — a budget that lives within its means, now and for many years to come. We are in this favorable position both because of the huge budget reductions that you have made in the last two years, and because the people voted for Proposition 30. Under this budget, K‑12 school districts will see an increase in funds. School districts serving those students who have the greatest challenges will receive more generous increases — so that all students in California have the opportunity to succeed. This budget also focuses more responsibility and accountability on those who are closest to our students.”

Governor Brown Proposes Balanced Budget Highlighted by New Revenues, Investments in Education, and Expanded Health CoverageCalifornia Budget Project

“The Governor proposes to increase General Fund spending by 5 percent, from $93 billion in 2012-13 to $97.7 billion in 2013-14. The Governor’s proposed budget includes increased funding levels for K-12 schools and higher education and calls for the expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s health care program for low-income families, as part of the state’s implementation of federal health care reform. The Governor’s proposal also includes a $1 billion reserve and pays down $4.2 billion in budget-related debt.”


Michigan’s economic recovery steady, but unremarkable, U-M economist says (Detroit Free Press)

January 11, 2013 – Michigan will continue a moderate but sustained recovery over the next two years, with about 40% of all the jobs lost during the decade-long recession recovered by the end of 2015, a University of Michigan economist told a state revenue-estimating conference today. The good news is that Michigan has improved its competitive position relative to other states, the auto sector has been strong, housing is recovering, and the highest wage sectors have shown the strongest growth in Michigan, Fulton said. The bad news is the recovery has not been nearly as strong as those in the past. Job growth remains sluggish, and the retail and government sectors are among those struggling, he said.

Link to Full Article: http://www.freep.com/article/20130111/NEWS15/130111032/1001/news


Michigan Blue Cross overhaul back on legislative burner (Detroit Free Press)

January 5, 2013 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan officials hoped to start the new year with an operational overhaul that included ending its tax-exempt status, changing how it’s regulated and transforming itself from a charitable trust to a customer-owned nonprofit. Instead, they’re beginning 2013 doing what they did in the final months of 2012: Lobbying state lawmakers and the governor to act.  The state’s largest health insurer is back encouraging action on legislation enabling its restructuring after Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed it. The proposed reworking of Blue Cross is largely internal: It does away with a law that gives the insurer immunity from paying taxes in exchange for providing insurance coverage regardless of a customer’s health status.

Link to Full Article: http://www.freep.com/article/20130105/BUSINESS06/130105014/1001/news


Despite surplus, Michigan may need to cut school spending in 2013 (Detroit News)

January 4, 2013 – Michigan will close the books on fiscal year 2011-12 with $1.04 billion in the state’s main checking account — but the surplus will make up for less revenue than expected in 2013, according to a new Senate Fiscal Agency report. The report, released in advance of next week’s revenue estimating conference in Lansing, found Michigan’s economy is growing slower than anticipated, and the state can expect budgets to remain tight and unemployment stubbornly high through 2014.

Central Michigan University’s medical school gets residency accreditation (Detroit Free Press)

January 2, 2013Central Michigan University (Aa3 / 154123WZ2) says it has received additional accreditation as it prepares to open its medical school in summer 2013. The university says the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has granted five-year institutional accreditation to the new medical school’s residency programs associated with Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary’s of Michigan. Residency is the clinical portion in a medical specialty following graduation from medical school and prepares physicians for the independent practice of medicine.

Link to Full Article: http://www.freep.com/article/20130102/NEWS06/130102004/1001/news

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s priorities for 2013 include education, transportation (MLive)

January 1, 2013 – Republican Gov. Rick Snyder got a lot of what he wanted from the GOP-led Michigan Legislature in 2012. But he didn’t get everything. What’s on the wish list for Snyder entering 2013? Education reform and transportation funding are at or near the top. And Snyder, entering his third year as governor, will have other priorities as well. Snyder talked about some of them during a recent interview with MLive.com.

Link to Full Article: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/01/rick_snyder_2013.html