Lawmakers Discuss What To Do With Budget Surplus - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lawmakers Discuss What To Do With Budget Surplus

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - For the first time, Michigan taxpayers have a promise from Lansing that they will get a tax cut this year now that state government has a surplus.

"This calendar year, the people of the state of Michigan will get something back," said Sen. Randy Richardville, the Senate GOP leader.

But not everyone seems to agree. Tricia Kinley with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce says that they're not saying to cut taxes right now.


With the domestic car makers rolling in dough, state government is, too--a projected $970 million surplus over three years. This has stimulated tax in Lansing over giving some of it back to residents.

"Every tenth of a point decrease leaves $175 million with the private sector. If you want to stimulate the economy and re-invent Michigan, come on, let's come across with a tax cut that's richly deserved," said Sen. Jack Brandenburg, who wants to gradually rollback the state income rate to 3.9 percent.

But while $175 million sounds like a bundle of money, divide it up among four million taxpayers and it doesn't pay out a lot.

"I simply want the public to understand that if we decide to go in that direction," said Sen. Bruce Caswell, "I wouldn't buy a Cadillac."

The GOP chair of the Senate budget committee says he's not convinced that it's the right thing to do.

"When you get the economy going back, you got more people working and more revenue coming in, we can give a little bit back to everybody," said Richardville.

The governor has not endorsed the give back just yet. He's expected to hit on it during his State of the State on Thursday.

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