UPDATE 12/9 – According to the Detroit News, this “techincal fix” to tax refund law which would cost more than $400 million for schools next year has been dropped as an issue for the lame duck legislative session. Stay tuned for more on this issue when the Legislature returns in Janauary!
Original Story (12/1)
While lobbying efforts need to continue on the threat to the school employee pension system, the latest GOP scheme to drain money from public education is taking shape in Lansing and may take up the remaining days of lame duck.
According to sources in Lansing, Republican leaders have agreed to a change in how tax refunds are paid—a decision that could cost the School Aid Fund more than $400 million, or approximately $273 per student. See how that cut could would affect your district in this MEA breakdown of the damage.
Right now, if you get a tax refund, it is paid from General Fund dollars. The School Aid Fund has been protected from being used for this purpose.The new plan uses a back-door way to drain SAF dollars to help pay for tax refunds. This is a way to raid the SAF and take money from our kids without it being obvious.
Why make this change? Just like when lawmakers started to pay for higher education out of the School Aid funds meant for K-12 schools, they want to tap into school funding to pay for other things. The GOP agenda of aggressive tax breaks has left the state cash-strapped and some lawmakers see the SAF as an attractive pot of money.
We must contact State Representatives and Senators and urge them to oppose this cash grab from our students. Lame duck isn’t the time to address tax policy, and lawmakers should not sneak through huge cuts to school funding.
See what the income tax raid would cost your district in this MEA breakdown of the damage.
Stay tuned to Capitol Comments and MEA’s Facebook page for updates on the ongoing legislative session.