LANSING — Michigan minimum wage earners are not making enough to afford their most basic needs like housing, food, clothing or transportation, statistics show.
The Michigan League for Public Policy argues that the minimum wage of $8.15 is not enough to live on. In Lake County, for instance, a single adult, full-time worker would need to make $10 an hour to meet basic needs, according to a 2014 study by the league. In Grand Traverse County, the amount goes up to $11 an hour. In Manistee County, you can get by on $9.94 per hour.
Not a single county lists $8.15 per hour or less as meeting the basic needs wage.
Take rental housing. According to Megan Bolton, research director for the National Low Income Housing Coalition, homeownership rates declined and are still declining after the foreclosure crisis. This has resulted in a huge surge in the number of renters. Continue reading →
LANSING — A bill to provide tuition tax credits for people paying off student loans is designed to keep young graduates in Michigan, but not everyone is convinced the plan will work.
Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., an East Lansing Democrat, has introduced a bill to ease college graduates’ loan burdens for up to five years after graduation if they live and work in Michigan. The bill would give qualifying graduates a tax credit up to 50 percent of the amount paid on student loans — up to $2,150 for an individual, and $4,300 for a married couple per year.
“The governor has talked a lot about talent retention,” Hertel said. “I sat down with some of our major universities, and one of the issues we have is the overwhelming number of students that are leaving the state, and not moving into our state.
“For people that are working here, staying here and investing here, we would be able to provide a tax credit for the first five years to try to get them on their feet, and try to get them back as part of the economy.” Continue reading →
LANSING — Many businesses across northern Michigan will benefit from a new law that subjects online retailers such as Amazon and Overstock.com to the same 6 percent sales tax that “brick-and-mortar” businesses collect from consumers.
The Main Street Fairness Act will affect any online retailer that has a physical presence in the state of Michigan, or has subsidiaries that have a physical presence in the state. The legislation specifically notes businesses that have warehouses and distribution centers in the state, in what is seen as an attempt to target large online retailers such as Amazon.
When the law goes into effect on Oct. 15, it will make Michigan the 23rd state to enact legislation subjecting online retailers to what is more commonly known as the “Amazon tax.” Continue reading →
LANSING – The D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette was looking to unload a Chevy transport van with a wheelchair lift.
A medical transportation company in Flint was looking to pick one up.
Marquette’s D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans sold this surplus 2006 Chevy Express 3500 LS van on MiBid for $10,177. Credit: MiBid
Buyer and seller met Jan. 20 on MiBid, an Internet auction site overseen by Michigan’s State Surplus program. The van, a 2006 Chevy Express 3500 LS with 48,000 miles, sold to On the Move Transportation for $10,177. Continue reading →
LANSING — As lawmakers wrangle over how to fix the state’s crumbling road system, one group is increasingly volunteering to foot the bill: Local taxpayers.
More than a third of counties now have local property tax increases in place to help fund road maintenance.
In 2006, voters in 12 counties had approved local road maintenance levies. That number has now risen to 28 as of this year, when eight passed new increases in the August primary and November general elections.
Source: County Road Association of Michigan.
Although the taxes are expected to bring in millions of dollars in additional road funds each year, local leaders say it will barely make a dent, even if the House passes a bill in December to double the gasoline tax. Continue reading →