October 16, 2014

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NEW TV AD: The Faces of Rick Snyder’s Wrong Priorities

The Democratic Governors Association today released a new television ad in the Michigan governor’s race featuring the people who have been hurt by Governor Rick Snyder’s misplaced priorities. The spot, “Faces,” features Michiganders who have suffered under Snyder’s education cuts, higher property and retirement tax while Snyder’s administration officials got pay raises.

“Governor Snyder punished students, seniors, and middle-class families by cutting $1 billion from education, raising property taxes, and taxing retirement,” said DGA Communications Director Danny Kanner. “What’s worse is that he did it all while giving his administration officials massive pay raises and cutting taxes for businesses, even if they ship jobs overseas. Snyder’s priorities may work for the wealthiest and well-connected, but they’re not how you build an economy that works for all of Michigan.”

Watch the ad here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMbq3RL2Cyg

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Video: Words on screen

The Faces of Rick Snyder’s Priorities

 

Video portrait of girl outside school.

 

Alayna Hester:

Larger Class Size

 

Audio: The faces of Rick Snyder’s priorities…

 

Alayna Hester … in a larger class because of Rick Snyder’s education cuts.

 

 

Snyder Cut Over a $1 Billion from Education:

  • K12 cut: $930,663,300
  • Community college cut: $12,000,000
  • Higher education cut: $216,000,100
  • TOTAL education cut: $1,158,663,400 [FY 2011-12 SCHOOL AID BUDGET]

 

Snyder Cut $1 Billion from School Aid Fund. “Initial reaction to Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal was generally positive – mostly because Michigan is in better financial shape than it was 12 months ago. But the $14.7 billion education package laid out Thursday relies heavily on incentive-laden funding some say is unfair. And it fails to fully restore funding cuts made last year, when Snyder trimmed more than $1 billion from Michigan’s School Aid Fund.”[Detroit News, 2/10/12]

 

Snyder’s Final Budget Cut K-12 Education Funding by 2.2 Percent and Universities by 15 Percent. “Critics said the budget makes overly painful cuts to public schools, universities, local governments and key services. School districts saw funding cut by 2.2 percent, which has led to widespread teacher layoffs. Universities saw their state funding cut 15 percent, and local governments will see about $100 million less.” [Detroit News, 6/21/11; Associated Press, 6/22/11]

 

Snyder Admitted He Used the “Cut Model” for Schools in First Budget. In an interview with The Associated Press, Snyder said he thinks the state will be “finished with the cut model” for schools in 2012-13, after they endured some major reductions in the current fiscal year. Public schools were cut more than 2 percent, or about $1 billion, and the state’s universities absorbed 15 percent cuts. [Gov. Rick Snyder says school cuts may be over, AP, 12/20/11]

 

Alayna Hester – Student of Alexandra Dey’s Second Grade, Thurston Elementary Class.

 

“Before Governor Snyder’s Cuts I had 23 students in my class, last year I had 29.”

[Alexandra Dey, Thurston Elementary]

 

Michigan’s Pupil/Teacher Ratio Has Increased Under Snyder:

2009-2010: 17.79

2010-2011: 17.91

2011-2012: 18.09

[National Center for Education Statistics, Pupil/Teacher data 2009-2012, accessed 9/29/14]

 

Ann Arbor schools will have larger class sizes in 2012-13. “And while the district says every classroom will be staffed on Tuesday morning for the first day of school, officials said large class sizes at some schools could result in still more changes. District Spokeswoman Liz Margolis said classrooms district wide were finalized as of a staff meeting Thursday. She said that while class sizes are larger than last year, they are within the AAEA’s contract specifications.. . . Clague Middle School and feeder elementary schools King, Logan and Thurston are seeing the greatest increases in enrollment, according to district leaders.” [Ann Arbor News, 9/2/12]

 

2 lawmakers blast EAA over kindergarten class of 100 children. “It’s the latest example of how the EAA fails at-risk kids in high-poverty schools in Detroit, and gives more evidence as to why the EAA must be shut down rather than expanded, as Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative Republicans are trying to do,” reads a statement issued by Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton, D-Huntington Woods, and Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, both outspoken critics of the EAA. [Detroit Free Press, 7/29/14]

 

Education Cuts Lead to Teacher Layoffs and Larger Class Sizes. “Teacher Jennifer Bonutti also found Snyder’s proposed increase inadequate. Her son is a first-grader in Farmington, northwest of Detroit. Cutbacks there have meant teacher layoffs and at least 25 students in her son’s classroom, while fourth-grade classrooms often have 35.” [Associated Press, 2/9/12]

 

“State cuts force teachers to look elsewhere.” “Less than six months after she graduated, budget cuts enacted by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder slashed funding for education — forcing teacher layoffs in more than one-third of school districts countywide.” [mlive.com, 8/25/11]

 

Detroit Public Schools Planned to Cut 1,500 Teachers to Deal with Budget Deficit. “Detroit Public Schools expects to shed nearly 40 percent of its teachers in the next four years to help close a $327 million deficit, yet projects a loss of just 6,000 students under a state-approved fiscal blueprint. The district would cut more than 1,500 teachers by fall 2015, according to a deficit-elimination plan obtained by The Detroit News. Most of the reduction – nearly 1,100 teachers – would occur next fall as DPS moves some of its weakest schools into a statewide recovery system, the Education Achievement Authority. [Detroit News, 9/20/11]

 

“’Massive’ teacher layoffs planned in Pontiac, Flint.” The Flint School District is planning over one hundred layoffs, the Flint Journal reported.

139 teachers and faculty in Flint will receive pink slips, with the staff cuts going into effect the day after school gets out on June 10. While the interim superintendent emphasized the possible rehiring of many of these teachers at the end of June, the school district’s deficit reduction plan calls for firing 150 teachers over the next three years.

The Flint School District has three years to chop away at a $15.6-million deficit. If the deficit isn’t eliminated by their 2015 deadline, the district could lose state funding. As the Associated Press reported in March, the cash-strapped district plans to shut down four schools in an attempt to cut costs. The Flint district isn’t the only one facing staff cuts. Over in Pontiac, the city’s school district is pledging to make “massive reductions” to its staff, The Detroit News reported. [MPR, 5/16/13]

 

Detroit Schools Hit With Class Size Explosion. Kindergarteners through third-graders will now share space with 40 classmates, up from a limit of 25 students. For fourth- and fifth-graders, class size was raised from 30 to 46 kids, and middle and high school teachers may face up to 61 students this fall, jammed into existing classrooms built for 35. . . . In a repeat of last year’s district-wide layoffs, every one of the city’s 4,100 teachers was forced to re-apply for his or her job over the summer. Eight hundred will not be called back, as Detroit closes 15 more schools and transfers another 15 to a state-run district for underperforming schools. [Labor Notes, 8/22/12]

 

Larger Class Sizes in Public Schools in Jackson Due to Budget Cuts. “Parents and students at many area public schools can expect larger class sizes when a new year of classes begins Tuesday…In some cases, students will experience longer walks to the bus stop and a reduction in sports offerings or pay-to-play requirements. There will even be fewer schools with the closing of Columbia’s Miller Elementary School and Jackson Arts and Technology Academy. Most of the changes are the result of declining state aid for public schools at the same time that retirement and fringe benefits costs are rising and as enrollment is dropping in many districts. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and the GOP-controlled Legislature have overhauled the state’s K-12 public education system with a combination of cuts and new state requirements…Class sizes could be up by one or two additional students at the elementary level, Graham said, and high school math classes could increase from 19 to 22, 23 or 24 because a math teacher position was eliminated.” [Mlive.com, 9/3/11]

 

Fall 2011: Michigan Public Schools 5th Highest Ratio of Students Per Teacher. “States with the highest number of students enrolled per teacher in public elementary and secondary schools in fall 2011: California (25.6), Utah (21.9), Oregon (20.2), Washington (19.7), and Michigan (18.4). States with the lowest student-teacher ratios were Vermont (9.4), Nebraska (10.7), Maine (11.9), New Jersey (12.0), and Virginia (12.1). Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia had average student-teacher ratios below the U.S. average (16.0) (C-6).” [National Education Association, Rankings of the States, December 2012]

 

2011-2012: Michigan Had 4th Highest Students Per Teacher Average in K-12 Schools. According to the National Education Association, Michigan had the 4th highest students in average daily attendance per teacher in K-12 schools from 2011-2012. [National Education Association, Rankings of the States, December 2012]

 

Video: Video portrait of a senior outside her home.

 

Jacqueline Payne:

Higher Property Taxes

 

Audio: Jacqueline Payne … higher property taxes from Rick Snyder.   

 

 

 

Jacquelin Payne – Born 1945 (age 69) her and her husband have a total household income of $75,000/year from her 403b pension from Michigan State, and they own their home – Under the previous criteria the Payne family were eligible and received the homestead tax credit but with Snyder’s changes they no longer receive the credit (see below).

 

Who qualifies for a Homestead Property Tax Credit?

You may claim a property tax credit if all of the following apply beginning 2012:

 

  • Your homestead is in Michigan
  • You were a resident of Michigan for at least six months during the year.
  • You own or are contracted to pay rent and occupy a Michigan homestead on which property taxes were levied
  • If you own your home, your taxable value is $135,000 or less
  • Your total household resources are $50,000 or less 
(Part year residents must annualize total household resources to determine if a credit reduction applies)

 

following apply for 2011 and prior years:

 

  • Your homestead is in Michigan
  • You were a resident of Michigan for at least six months during the year.
  • You own or are contracted to pay rent and occupy a Michigan homestead on which property taxes were levied
  • Your household income is $82,650 or less 
(Part year residents must annualize household income to determine if a credit reduction applies) [Michigan Taxes, Department of Treasury, accessed 10/8/14]

 

Loss of Homestead Credit Would Lead to Hire Taxes for Seniors. “The loss of the homestead credit for an estimated quarter-million households means a net tax increase even for senior couples unaffected by application of the income tax to pensions. A couple in which the older partner was born in the years 1946 to 1952 (assumed to be age 66 in the example), and who receives $30,000 in pension income and $22,000 in Social Security would remain tax-free. With the loss of $430 in homestead credits, they would still see a loss in income.” [Grand Rapid Press, 7/13/11]

 

AARP to Lawmakers: Use Surplus to Give Back to Seniors. AARP Michigan estimates that the combination of the state pension tax, the elimination of the $2400-per-senior tax exemption, and the increase in property taxes because of changes in the homestead tax exemption has cost Michigan seniors more than $650 million per year. [AARP, 2/3/14]

 

50-something Michigan pensioners take biggest hit under new tax plan. Taking the biggest shot? A retired couple born after 1952 with more than $50,000 in income, including $48,000 in pension benefits, who now receive the full $1,200 refundable homestead property tax credit. Their taxes will be $3,130 higher in 2013 than they would have been had the tax law not been changed, according to the new analysis by the House Fiscal Agency. [Bridge Magazine, 7/12/11]

 

Modify Homestead Property Tax Credit (Page 5)

http://www.house.michigan.gov/hfa/PDF/Alpha/TaxpayerExampleMemo.pdf

 

Seniors Would See Large Increase – Almost As Much As Millionaires. “A retired couple born after 1952 with more than $50,000 in income, including $48,000 in pension benefits, who now receive the full $1,200 refundable homestead property tax credit.” would see one of the largest tax increases according to the study. “Their taxes will be $3,130 higher in 2013 than they would have been had the tax law not been changed, the analysis found. They will pay 4.25 percent on all their pension income, and because the income threshold for the homestead credit declines from $82,650 to $50,000, they lose the whole thing. Those with taxable incomes of $1 million would take a larger hit, but not by much — $3,500, because the income tax rate will stay at 4.25 percent instead of dropping to 3.9 percent.” [Grand Rapid Press, 7/13/11]

 

“No foul on billboards chiding Gov. Snyder for higher taxes.” “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer, a former congressman, has made attacks on Snyder’s tax record a centerpiece of his campaign. In 2011, Snyder pushed through sweeping changes to Michigan’s business tax system, scrapping the Michigan Business Tax and replacing it with a 6 percent corporate income tax. It was calculated to be a $1.7 billion business tax cut in 2012-2013 in analysis by the nonpartisan Michigan House Fiscal Agency. To replace much of that revenue, Snyder backed legislation that raised taxes on individualsby about $1.4 billion. Its chief components and their calculated impact in 2012-2013:

 

  • Freeze the state income tax at 4.25 percent. It had been scheduled to fall to 3.9 percent by 2015. That was calculated by the House Fiscal Agency to raise $223 million in taxes in 2012-2013.
  • Lower deductions for pensions for those born 1946 or after, adding an estimated $343 million in taxes.
  • Reduce low-income tax credits from 20 percent to 6 percent, adding $261 million in taxes.
  • Lower homestead property tax credits, raising taxes by $270 million. [Bridge Magazine, 5/15/14]

 

Video: Video portrait of senior in home.

Mike Bauer:

Paying New Retirement Tax

 

Audio: Mike Bauer … paying Rick Snyder’s new retirement tax.

 

 

 

Mike Bauer (born 1954) and his wife are the same age (60), and are taxed on their entire pension income of $73,356 (Tier 3). [Michigan.gov, Income Tax for Retirement Benefits, Tax Year 2013]

 

Under the Previous Pension Law Mike and his wife’s Pension Income Would Have Been Fully Exempt.

Private Pensions: Private pension subtractions are limited to $45,842 on a single return and $91,684 on joint returns for tax year 2011. [Michigan Department of Treasury, Pension and Retirement Benefits, 2011]

 

Snyder Taxed Retirement Income. “Gov. Rick Snyder signed the biggest tax overhaul in Michigan in 17 years that finances the elimination of the Michigan business tax with a bundle of changes to the personal income tax. Overall, it amounts to a $220 million net cut in tax revenues to state coffers, but for Michigan businesses, including some 100,000 that no longer will have to pay the repealed Michigan Business Tax, it’s a $1.65 billion cut. The difference is being made up with $1.42 billion in additional income taxes, which includes applying the tax to pensions and other retirement income.” [Bridge Magazine, 5/25/11]

 

Seniors Would See Large Increase – Almost As Much As Millionaires. “A retired couple born after 1952 with more than $50,000 in income, including $48,000 in pension benefits, who now receive the full $1,200 refundable homestead property tax credit.” would see one of the largest tax increases according to the study. “Their taxes will be $3,130 higher in 2013 than they would have been had the tax law not been changed, the analysis found. They will pay 4.25 percent on all their pension income, and because the income threshold for the homestead credit declines from $82,650 to $50,000, they lose the whole thing. Those with taxable incomes of $1 million would take a larger hit, but not by much — $3,500, because the income tax rate will stay at 4.25 percent instead of dropping to 3.9 percent.” [Grand Rapid Press, 7/13/11]

 

“No foul on billboards chiding Gov. Snyder for higher taxes.” “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer, a former congressman, has made attacks on Snyder’s tax record a centerpiece of his campaign. In 2011, Snyder pushed through sweeping changes to Michigan’s business tax system, scrapping the Michigan Business Tax and replacing it with a 6 percent corporate income tax. It was calculated to be a $1.7 billion business tax cut in 2012-2013 in analysis by the nonpartisan Michigan House Fiscal Agency. To replace much of that revenue, Snyder backed legislation that raised taxes on individualsby about $1.4 billion. Its chief components and their calculated impact in 2012-2013:

 

  • Freeze the state income tax at 4.25 percent. It had been scheduled to fall to 3.9 percent by 2015. That was calculated by the House Fiscal Agency to raise $223 million in taxes in 2012-2013.
  • Lower deductions for pensions for those born 1946 or after, adding an estimated $343 million in taxes.
  • Reduce low-income tax credits from 20 percent to 6 percent, adding $261 million in taxes.
  • Lower homestead property tax credits, raising taxes by $270 million. [Bridge Magazine, 5/15/14]

 

Video: Rick Snyder’s Administration Officials

 

Three pictures come up in administration office Braeutigam’s photo to center filling screen

 

Detroit Free Press

Jon Braeutigam, the state’s chief investment officer, got a 90% pay raise to $333,000 a year from $175,000, department spokesman Terry Stanton confirmed Friday.

Nov. 24, 2013

 

Audio:  Now, Rich Snyder’s administration officials…

 

“Joe Braeutigam got a ninety percent pay raise, to three hundred and thirty three thousand a year.” 

 

 

“State’s top investment officials get giant pay raises.” The State of Michigan quietly increased the salaries of its top investment officials in the Treasury Department by more than 80% this year, saying it was too difficult to attract and keep qualified people under the former pay rates. Jon Braeutigam, the state’s chief investment officer, got a 90% pay raise to $333,000 a year from $175,000, department spokesman Terry Stanton confirmed Friday. Treasury’s two senior directors of investment – Robert Brackenbury and Greg Parker – received 82% pay increases, boosting them from $128,000 to $233,000 a year. [Detroit Free Press, 11/24/13]

 

Video: Brackenbury and Parker come to center

 

Detroit Free Press

“Treasury’s two senior directors of investment – Robert Brackenbury and Greg Parker – received 82% pay increases, boosting them from $128,000 to $233,000 a year…”

Nov. 24, 2013

 

Audio: ‘Robert Brackenbury and Greg Parker received eighty-two percent pay increases.”

 

“State’s top investment officials get giant pay raises.” The State of Michigan quietly increased the salaries of its top investment officials in the Treasury Department by more than 80% this year, saying it was too difficult to attract and keep qualified people under the former pay rates. Jon Braeutigam, the state’s chief investment officer, got a 90% pay raise to $333,000 a year from $175,000, department spokesman Terry Stanton confirmed Friday. Treasury’s two senior directors of investment – Robert Brackenbury and Greg Parker – received 82% pay increases, boosting them from $128,000 to $233,000 a year. [Detroit Free Press, 11/24/13]

 

Video: Tell Rick Snyder

He’s Got The Wrong Priorities

 

Audio: Tell Rick Snyder – He’s got the wrong priorities.

 

Paid for by the Democratic Governors Association. Authorized by Mark Schauer.