Dollars and Sense: How State and Local Governments in Michigan Spend Your Money

All Michigan residents have a vested interest in the economic future of our state. We need all hands on deck as we sort out the ideas, resources and action steps necessary to get us back on course toward prosperity and growth. This report is intended to provide ALL citizens with an assessment of the financial health of Michigan’s state and local governments. For every $7 earned in Michigan, $1 is sent to state and local government in the form of taxes, fees, and charges for services. As a taxpayer, you deserve to know what your dollars are buying, and have a voice in making sure those services and programs are going to be appropriate to righting our ship. This report provides information on:

  • How taxes and fees are collected and used across our state;
  • The long-term consequences of today’s budget decisions—borrowing, debt levels, budget reserves; and
  • The bills that are mounting for the future, such as public employee pensions and federal loans.

For this report, we have used the most recent information available. In most cases, this is for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2010. What does this report show? Largely, we find the following:
Michigan residents are earning less than a decade ago. Lower incomes mean less tax revenue and an increased need for government services. The result has been an ongoing structural imbalance in the state’s finances;
Many governments in Michigan are spending more than they are taking in. To support their spending, they have drained their savings, borrowed money, and failed to put money away for liabilities they know are on the horizon.
Michigan has been unable to invest in its future. State government expenditures on infrastructure and higher education, among other areas, have declined over the past decade;
State employee compensation in Michigan has grown while private sector compensation has fallen, inhibiting taxpayers’ ability to support the salaries and benefits of public employees, or to meet critical investment needs and assist Michigan citizens in financial distress. The state’s future has been mortgaged through extensive borrowing and accumulation of unfunded pension and retiree health care liabilities;
Years of high unemployment have rendered our unemployment compensation fund insolvent and created a greater demand for government services. Our system simply wasn’t built for this sustained level of hardship.

Please click “view PDF” below, for the full report. This report is also avilable at www.Michigan.gov/Snyder. 

Please click here for a Supplemental Data Appendix.

 

Michigan’s Item Pricing Law: The Price Tag for Retailers and Consumers

Michigan faces a host of challenges as we enter the second decade of the 21st century. Chief among these are the realities and perceptions that Michigan is stuck in the 20th century, and that outdated regulations are stopping businesses and citizens from moving ahead.
 
This report assesses the costs and benefits associated with one such regulation— the Item Pricing Law (IPL)—which went into effect on January 1, 1978
and has not significantly been amended since.1 We conclude that the time has come for Michigan to reform its IPL. Only eight states have any form of an IPL, and Michigan’s is by far the most burdensome. Michigan is the only state that still requires a price label to be placed on nearly every consumer item, which creates unnecessary costs for both businesses and consumers, and yields little or no benefits that are not otherwise afforded to consumers in other states. 

Effectiveness of Michigan's Key Business Tax Incentives, March 2010

Effective business tax incentive programs are imperative when a state is in economic decline, when its business tax burdens are considered uncompetitive for many industries, or when state budgets are strained. Michigan suffers from all three of these conditions. It can afford to pursue only the most effective tax incentive programs.

Unfortunately, there exists no comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of Michigan’s tax incentive programs. The purpose of this report is to fill much of that gap, first by creating a systematic inventory of Michigan’s tax abatement programs, and second by evaluating the available evidence of their effectiveness in attracting and retaining businesses.

The Michigan Education Association and National Education Association commissioned this report to improve the quality of the debate on business tax incentives. The report was completed by the independent consulting firm of Anderson Economic Group, LLC, which has considerable expertise in business tax policy, tax incentives, and state tax burden comparisons.

Michigan's Roads: The Cost of Doing Nothing and the Rewards of Bold Action

Constructing and maintaining basic infrastructure is one of the core functions of government. Investment in infrastructure, including roads and bridges, is important for enabling commerce and for the convenience, safety, and recreation of citizens.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce commissioned this report to inform public discussion of the proper level of funding for building and maintaining Michigan’s road infrastructure. This report describes Michigan’s trunkline road system and the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF); provides a credible, conservative estimate of the impact of several levels of funding on the state economy; discusses the impact that road infrastructure has on the safety and expenditures of Michigan households; and discusses the importance of our state trunkline roads to key Michigan industries. 

Detroit Tigers 2008 Net Economic Impact from Attendance

Detroit Tigers 2008 Net Economic Impact from Attendance

For a complete copy of the paper, please order by clicking here.

 

Likely Economic Impact to Ireland from the 2006 Ryder Cup

Watkins, O’Neill

Analysis of the 2006 Ryder Cup’s likely economic impact on the country of Ireland, prepared jointly by Anderson Economic Group of East Lansing, Michigan, and Anarach Consulting, or Dublin, Ireland.

The Likely Economic Impact of a Chicago 2016 Summer Olympics

Anderson Economic Group, LLC, is an economic consulting firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois; East Lansing, Michigan; and Los Angeles, California. We have prepared this independent analysis of the likely economic impact of the proposed 2016 Summer Olympics in Chicago, and are making it publicly available before the IOC announcement date of October 2, 2009.

We are preparing this study to provide other Chicago-area businesses, as well as taxpayers and policymakers, a realistic assessment of the actual costs and benefits of hosting the games. Our analysis of past major events, and our past evaluations of the value of sports-related and other businesses, gives us a unique position to carefully examine this question.

Boosters of large sporting events and stadium construction have sometimes claimed economic benefits that later proved far too good to be true. However, our analyses of both sports franchises, and cities in which sporting teams oper-ate, show that some events can provide economic benefits that far exceed the costs. Given the scale of the Olympics, and the exposure it would give to Chi-cago on a world stage, it is certainly worth carefully considering the costs, risks, and benefits.

We have used a rigorous methodology to estimate the likelly economic impact of events like the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Presentation: Fiscal Stability of Collier County

 

Fiscal Stability Assessment: Collier County, Florida

economic & financial

The URC's Support for Advanced Manufacturing in Michigan

Manufacturing is embedded in our state’s history, and in our national consciousness, as the engine of economic growth for much of the 20th century. Michigan was the “arsenal of democracy” in World War II, where Henry Ford’s revolutionary wages brought immigrants from numerous countries, and where companies like General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford grew into global enterprises.

Michigan is also the place that, far too often, is saddled with a reputation for being very good at something that is no longer relevant, modern, or particularly useful in the 21st century. In particular, we suffer from the misguided notion that manufacturing is not a “high tech” or high-value-added enterprise. This report provides, in great detail, hard evidence that manufacturing is alive and vital in Michigan today, and that much of the manufacturing done in Michigan today is high-tech, high-productivity advanced manufacturing.

Indeed, there are numerous places in the world where low-tech manufacturing can take place, often where labor and other costs are much lower than in the United States. Manufacturers in Michigan, therefore, must produce high-quality products using high-productivity techniques, and advanced technologies. As we note in this report, advanced manufacturing in Michigan is:

  • An important industry that employs over 10% of the state’s workforce;
  • A productive industry where over half of the employment is in firms whose productivity is growing faster than the average U.S. manufacturing firm;
  • A highly-skilled industry where over one-third of the research and testing jobs in the Midwest are located.