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Tax Relief in 2014? Maybe, but Surplus Smaller than Expected

2014 is an election year and that may mean contentious issues won't come up until after Nov. 4.

Lawmakers returning to Lansing Wednesday may take up tax relief, but the surplus is smaller than originally projected.
Lawmakers returning to Lansing Wednesday may take up tax relief, but the surplus is smaller than originally projected.

Tax relief and a handful of gnarly issues left over from 2013 are expected to dominate the agenda as Michigan legislators return to Lansing Wednesday after a month-long holiday break.

However, the looming 2014 election may temper the session some and particularly contentious issues may wait until after the Nov. 4 election, the Detroit Free Press reports.

DISCUSS: If the Legislature could accomplish one thing this session, what should it be? Tell us below in the comments.

The state’s surplus may not be as large as initially projected. The $1.3 billion estimate came from the Senate Fiscal Agency projected a $1.3 billion surplus in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, the House Fiscal Agency put the projected surplus at $1.1 million and the Treasury Department was more conservative yet at a revenue estimating conference Friday, putting increased revenues at $708 million, the newspaper said.

Both Republicans and Democrats want to provide some sort of tax relief, whether by cutting income tax rates, repealing taxes on pensions or restoring tax credits for things like charitable contributions and child care.

Gov. Rick Snyder has encouraged lawmakers to be cautious and “make sure we’re being fiscally responsible for the long term.”

Besides tax relief and possible increased funding for schools and roads, lawmakers may take up some issues unfinished when the Legislature adjourned for the holidays. Among those topics are are abortion, gay marriage, no-fault insurance overhaul, road repairs, school improvement, minimum wage, renewable energy, wolf hunting and medical marijuana.

>>> For a full outlook on the chance of those issues being addressed, read the full story on the Detroit Free Press.

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