It’s official: DIA millage passes overwhelmingly

BY: - March 12, 2020

Voters in Southeast Michigan decided Tuesday to continue to pay taxes to support the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The millage renewal passed handily in the tri-county area. Wayne and Oakland County residents both passed it 76% to 24%. Macomb County went 62% to 38%, according to unofficial returns, with 100% reporting. “We’re really changing […]

Detroit Institute of Arts levy winning, so far

BY: - March 10, 2020

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) millage renewal appears to be on its way to passing, scoring large 2-to-1 vote margins in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, with less than 50% of precincts counted. “While we are not ready to declare victory at this moment, the initial results from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties all […]

Gov. signs legislation for struggling homeowners

BY: - March 3, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed House Bill 5124, aimed at helping Michigan homeowners struggling to pay property taxes stay in their homes. The legislation known as Pay As You Stay (PAYS), which is sponsored by state Rep. Wendell Byrd (D-Detroit) provides affordable payment plans and eliminating penalties, interest and fees so homeowners can manage […]


Rick Haglund: How can Michigan become a top 10 state? It may not be what you think.

BY: - February 22, 2020

Hey, average Michigan worker: How would you like to be making $13,000 a year more than you earn now? You would if Michigan was performing at the average level of the top 10 states in key job, productivity, personal income and population indicators. Unfortunately, we’re not even close. And we’re falling behind in most of […]

Bills you may have missed: Clamping down on millage renewals, banning fossil fuels 

BY: - February 11, 2020

During an eventful start to the year, state lawmakers are busy introducing bills they hope to see passed in 2020.  Here is this week’s Michigan Advance roundup of recently introduced legislation you may have missed. Millage renewal restrictions State Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.) introduced a bill in January that would limit the time frame […]

Exclusive: Whitmer’s childcare expansion plan boasts business support

BY: - January 29, 2020

Brian Calley isn’t just a former lieutenant governor and president of the Lansing-based Small Business Association (SBAM). He’s also a busy dad of three kids, ranging in age from 9 to 15. So when he hears from business executives that affordable childcare for their employees is a “major concern,” he notes that he understands the […]

No, pot money still won’t fill Michigan’s potholes — not even close

BY: - January 28, 2020

Last year, one of the most popular rejoinders to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent gas tax increase to fix the roads was just use tax revenue from marijuana sales to solve the problem instead. Now Whitmer is set to give her State of the State address Wednesday and will outline her plan for next year’s […]

Highest Michigan adult-use pot sales reported last week with $2.6M

BY: - January 21, 2020

Michigan had its highest weekly adult-use marijuana sales total to date last week with $2.59 million, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), which provides state oversight over the industry. Michigan voters in November 2018 legalized pot for recreational use, but it has only been sold in stores since Dec. 1, 2019. There are now 65 licenses […]

Michigan has an extra $321M in 2020, is almost $12B below Headlee tax limit

BY: - January 10, 2020

Michigan’s fiscal picture is looking modestly brighter for the next two fiscal years, experts agreed at a biannual meeting Friday at the state Capitol. State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks told reporters that revenues are “looking pretty flat” but the “economy continues to grow.” That’s still welcome news after a contentious budget fight that dominated most of […]

The Advance’s best stories of 2019 you may have missed

BY: - December 30, 2019

Quotable of the Year: “One of the great drawbacks of being in Congress is that I must receive insulting letters from weak-minded jackasses like yourself. Will you please take two running jumps and go to hell.” — Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) in a 1957 letter  Susan J. Demas graphic In the last days […]


Column: Fixing Michigan’s upside-down tax system: The case for a graduated income tax

BY: - November 21, 2019

At the Michigan League for Public Policy, we are committed to working on public policies that help Michiganders put food on the table, gain access to quality health care and have affordable housing.  In order to fund these policies, we need a robust tax system that produces needed revenue to make these investments while ensuring […]


Lavora Barnes: GOP tax reform hasn’t lived up to promises

BY: - September 27, 2019

Editor’s Note: A previous version of the column may not have included Barnes’ full bio. It appears below. Two years ago today, congressional Republicans unveiled a tax plan, with big promises of a tax cut that would allegedly raise wages, lift up working people, and send corporate investments skyrocketing, while also reducing the deficit. Unfortunately, […]