|Ok. Not thrilled about the MESSA "reform", as many of you know. But, it's the price Michigan paid for having a Republican Senate.
So here are some of the details of the 3 part deal that ended the 4 hour Michigan shutdown:
The income tax: First, we have a brand new income tax rate of 4.35%. This is an increase from 3.9%. It was passed in the House, 57-52, with Republicans Ed Gaffney and Chris Ward crossing over to vote with Democrats. Democrats Marty Griffin, Mike Simpson, and Lisa Wojno voted no.
In the Senate, the income tax was passed 19-19, with Lt Gov John Cherry casting the tie-breaking vote to make it 20-19. Cross-over votes were Republicans Patty Birkholz, Tom George, Ron Jelinek, and Gerald Van Woerkom, who voted YES. Democrats Glenn Anderson and Dennis Olshove voted NO.
Under this legislation, the income tax rolls back to 3.95% in 2011, and then to 3.9% in 2015. The income tax is expected to raise $765 million for the state in 2008.
The sales/service tax: The second piece is the bill that expands the 6% sales tax to a number of services, listed in another post. This will take effect December 1.
In the House, this passed 56-53. Only the Democrats voted in favor of this. Two Democrats voted against it: Marc Corriveau and Kate Ebli.
In the Senate, Democrat Glenn Anderson voted NO. Republicans Valde Garcia and Ron Jelinek voted YES, bringing the total to 19-19. John Cherry was once again the tie-breaker.
The services tax is expected to produce $613.8 million in 2008, and $751 million per year afterwards.
|The MESSA "reforms": The final piece to the deal was the MESSA busting bill. This legislation requires MESSA to give up claims information, so that other providers can base their costs on MESSA information. This is designed to take market share away from MESSA. The House and Senate Fiscal Agencies both concluded that this would cost the state additional money, and that there was no demonstrable savings to the local districts. Despite the truth, reality, and irrefutable-in-your-face-facts, Senator Wayne Kuipers pulled this out of his pocket:
Note that Kuipers has been a manager at Hollandia Gardens since 1983, which means that he is way more qualified than the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies to determine the fiscal impact of this legislation.
Sub only MIRS News reports that
Yep. Political cover.
In the House, this reform passed 56-53, with 3 Republicans voting NO: Jack Brandenburg, Mike Nofs, and Tory Rocca. 3 Democrats crossed over to vote YES: Paul Condino, Virgil Smith, and Coleman Young Jr.
In the Senate, this reform passed 21-17, with Republicans Bruce Patterson, Roger Kahn and Ron Jelinek voting NO, and Democrats Mickey Switalski, Mark Schauer and Buzz Thomas voting YES.
Schauer's vote is surprising to me, considering he is running against Walberg next year. But, what do I know?
List of services + expected revenues coming up next.