by Scott McClallen
Tax cuts are no longer on the negotiating table as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the GOP-dominated Michigan Legislature square off before a deadline to submit a budget.
Crain’s first reported the story, citing two anonymous sources familiar with negotiations, and said lawmakers hope to pass a budget on Thursday.
In May, the GOP eyed billion-dollar tax cuts while Whitmer pitched sending $500 checks to working families to spend billions of surplus money amid high gas prices and inflation. Still, neither side has budged during an election year.
Lawmakers are approaching a toothless July 1 deadline to submit spending plans for the next fiscal year starting October 1.
The deadlock follows Whitmer vetoing three GOP plans for tax relief. In June, Whitmer vetoed bills to drop the personal income tax rate from 4.25% to 4%. In March, Whitmer rejected $2.5 billion in tax relief, saying it would compromise her budget.
Instead, Whitmer supports boosting the earned income tax credit and repealing the retirement tax.
Walled Lake Consolidated Schools Superintendent and K-12 Alliance of Michigan President Ken Gutman called on the Legislature to pass the School Aid Budget by July 1.
“Having a finalized budget is what allows school leaders to plan for the upcoming year, make critically important hires and set our schools up for success,” Gutman said in a statement. “Any delay in that process will make hiring critically needed tutors, reading coaches and other staff harder as we are forced to put those decisions off while potential employees take jobs elsewhere. We need our elected leaders to commit to completing work on a full school-aid budget that puts the needs of our students first no later than July 1st, even if that means passing it separately from the rest of the state budget as they did last year. “
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer. Background Photo “Michigan Capitol” by San906. CC0 1.0.