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Education and infrastructure, not tax cuts, in state budget forecast

Snyder at lectern
Gov. Rick Snyder delivering his State of the State address to a joint session of the Michigan legislature last month.

Education, public safety, and paying down the long term debt will be Gov. Rick Snyder’s top priorities when he unveils his 2018 budget today.

Some Republicans in Lansing are really hoping to make some aggressive tax cuts this year, especially since Michigan has a $330-million surplus in the budget.

But as Gov. Snyder gets ready to roll out his budget plan, he’s shying away from major tax cuts.

State Budget Office spokesperson Kurt Weiss says tax cuts need to be balanced with replacement revenue, even though there is a hefty surplus. “He’ll talk about some of the tax reforms that have already been made," Weiss says, "and that there is a lot of middle class tax relief already occurring in the state.”

Still, Republicans aren’t giving up. Rep. Laura Cox is chair of the House committee that handles the budget. She says they plan to work with the Snyder administration to find room in the budget for income tax rollbacks. “My goal," Cox states, "has always been to keep more dollars into the families of the tax payers of Michigan, and I don’t want to increase government spending. That’s not going to be fruitful for everybody that’s back at home.”

Weiss says there will also be a lot of talk about fixing Michigan’s infrastructure. “You’ll hear him talk about how he wants to pilot some programs in that area," Weiss continues, "and you’ll see some money that he’s going to put toward that area as well.”

A continued investment in Flint and a plan for the city’s future is also on the agenda for Snyder and new Budget Director Al Pscholka’s budget presentation. Reports from the Associated Press also say Snyder plans to propose growing the state’s savings account to $1-billion.

The 2018 budget takes effect this October.

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