Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference holds court in Lansing

Jan 11, 2018

The state got an idea Thursday of how much money it could have for the next couple years.

Michigan is on track to add a little more to its bank account than last year. But it’s still likely not enough to keep up with inflation.

Members of the governor’s administration say a lot of the money is earmarked and they should also work to pay down the debt and save.

But lawmakers might try to make more cuts anyway.

Representative Laura Cox is on the committee that makes the state’s budget.

“There’s definitely an appetite in the House and I think there’s some sort of appetite in the Senate to provide all the taxpayers of Michigan some sort of tax relief.

There’s been chatter around Lansing about more tax cuts this year. Nick Khouri is the state Treasurer. He says it might not be the right time.

“Any discussion of tax cuts has to be combined with additional spending cuts or revenue increases in other places. And until we can have that broader discussion and identify those other areas, tax cuts right now are a difficult conversation.”

Gabriel Ehrlich is an economic forecaster at the University of Michigan. He predicts – barring any unforeseen national problems – Michigan’s economy will continue to steadily improve. That includes a rise in incomes.

“One nice thing is that’s going to translate into increases in real purchasing power. So even adjusting for inflation, we’re going to start to see healthier increases in wages and incomes”

Ehrlich says a part of the reason wages will go up is fewer people are looking for work. So businesses need to increase wages to be more competitive.