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MI revenue fight shaping up at Capitol

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-885701.mp3

LANSING, MI –

School officials are squaring off against business groups by urging the Legislature to adopt new taxes to avoid big cuts to K-12 education.

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Schools were forced to absorb cuts of $165 per pupil or more last year. And they are facing another round of reductions totaling $250-400 per student this year without an infusion of money. School officials have endorsed expanding the state sales tax to services and delaying a reduction in the income tax rate to help plug a hole in the School Aid Fund.

William Mayes says schools are looking at drastic alternatives without new revenue.

"It means larger class sizes," he says. "It means programs being cut. It means buildings being closed."

Mayes says measures to contain growing employee costs also have to be part of the solution.

But business groups say finding savings needs to be the first step - before lawmakers start talking about taxes.

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