BY LAURA BOHANNON
Capital News Service
LANSING– Proposals in the House and the Senate to eliminate the state income tax could devastate Michigan’s public universities, already coping for years with dramatic drops in state support, a higher-education consortium says. “You would see continued increases in tuition,” said Daniel Hurley, chief executive officer of the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU). “The sky would fall.”
Funding for public colleges and universities in Michigan has declined for decades, and the institutions have raised tuition to maintain high-quality programs.
The state income tax represents 67 percent of the state’s general fund and 22 percent of public school aid fund, Hurley said. Phasing out the tax with no plan to replace the revenue could force universities to scale back on enrollment and new initiatives. “Often when you have a discussion about higher ed, it’s about affordability,” Hurley said.