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Amid tax cut debate, Bloomberg co-founder touts Michigan’s economy under Whitmer

By: - February 21, 2022 11:25 am

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives the keynote address at the 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference, Sept. 22, 2021 | Laina G. Stebbins

Just a day after the GOP-controlled Michigan Senate passed a $2.5 billion tax cut proposal supporters said was needed to help families struggling since the start of the pandemic, an opinion piece in Bloomberg News ranked Michigan’s economy as No.1 among the 37 states with a population greater than 2 million in that same time period.

The piece, written by Bloomberg News co-founder Matthew Winkler, said that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer “presides over an economy that improved the most in its history since the pandemic began two years ago … based on equally weighted measures of employment, personal income, home prices, mortgage delinquency, state tax revenue and the stock market performance of its publicly-traded companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

Winkler also noted that “seven of the 10 largest companies in Michigan by market value are among the top 10 global leaders in their industries,” including Detroit-based General Motors Co., Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co.and Midland-based Dow Inc. 

Whitmer is up for reelection this fall and her campaign has touted the analysis.

Winkler also told Bloomberg Radio that Whitmer had campaigned in 2018 on a platform focused on infrastructure and health care, and that “her interests actually converge with, very much, corporate Michigan’s, if you like, ascendence, resurgence, during the past couple years, particularly since COVID struck.”  

The article follows repeated attacks by Michigan Republicans against Whitmer pandemic orders, which they say had a devastating effect on businesses across the state. It also came a day after the Michigan Senate adopted legislation on a party-line vote that would cut the corporate income tax rate 35%, dropping it from 6% to 3.9%, while the individual tax rate would only decrease by less than 9%, falling from 4.25% to 3.9%

An analysis from the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency indicates the plan would result in a more than $2 billion drop in tax revenue over the next two years. 

Whitmer, who last week proposed a $74 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget plan, referred to the proposed cuts as “not sustainable.” 

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.