Republican Policy Turns State Surplus into Deficit, HFA Says

House Dems say irresponsible Republican policies must change
Friday, January 16, 2015

LANSING – Disastrous Republican policies that have cost taxpayers billions of dollars in the form of corporate giveaways are projected to lead to a budget deficit by the end of the current fiscal year. A preliminary analysis released by the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency Wednesday said the state’s general fund will see a shortfall of $454 million if no changes are made.

“It should be obvious to everyone by now that the Republican policy of all but eliminating taxes on corporations not only doesn’t work, but is downright dangerous,” House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) said. “Big corporations are living rent-free in Michigan, leaving average working families to foot the bill. That’s wrong, and it’s time we restore fairness to all Michiganders.”

The House Fiscal analysis was released ahead of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference meeting, which was held today. The CREC brings together the House and Senate fiscal agencies, the state administration and other leading economists in the state to forecast how much revenue the state can expect to bring in over the coming two years. It is the first step in the state’s annual budget-making process.

After giving Michigan corporations a $1.7 billion tax break in 2011, Republicans then accelerated giveaways to corporations through the MEDC. Since Gov. Rick Snyder took office in 2011, the amount of outstanding corporate tax credits has increased by $1.6 billion, while the value of tax credits expected to be redeemed has skyrocketed by $3.2 billion, according to a report from the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency.

“Republicans have allowed the MEDC to become a runaway organization that is devastating the state’s financial health, while not holding it accountable for creating more jobs,” House Democratic Floor Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) said. “This policy is irresponsible and harmful to regular, working families, which is why we are committed to restoring fairness and building a Michigan economy that works for everyone.”