michigan economy

Big box tax flap hits small MI town budgets

Aug 14, 2015
Menards sign photo
Mike Kalasnik / Flickr Creative Commons

Some small towns in Michigan are having budget problems related to large retailers appealing their property taxes. Current State talks with Bridge Magazine reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey, who recently wrote about the situation.

American Airlines plane photo
James Willamor / Flickr Creative Commons

Sun Country Airlines operates flights from Lansing to Washington D.C., but the carrier is leaving town in October. Now, the biggest name in U.S. aviation is hoping to take over that market. Current State speaks with Bob Selig of the Capital Region Airport Authority.

Are the state’s small businesses healthy or hurting? And why? Current State speaks with Small Business Association of Michigan President and CEO Rob Fowler.

 Alicia Guevara Warren photo with Mark Bashore
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Unemployment in Michigan is at its lowest point in 14 years, but the state’s economic recovery hasn’t reached everyone yet. In fact, the number of children living in poverty has actually increased since the end of the Great Recession.

Amy Iezzoni photo
Courtesy MSU Department of Horticulture

MSU horticulture professor Amy Iezzoni explains the science behind the state’s cherry industry and her work to bring varieties from around the world to Michigan.

Lansing home demolition
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Ingham County officials are using a $6-million federal grant to remove more than 200 blighted homes around the city. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with county land bank executive director Jeff Burdick.

New report says Michigan short on walkable communities

Jul 2, 2015

A new report indicates that Michigan trails other states in making communities more walkable.


It’s the first week of June, soon school will be out of session, and the beaches are beckoning. Michigan is expecting a strong summer tourism season in 2015, as families plan trips to all manner of destinations across the Great Lakes State.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Officials say there are some 2,800 vacant, under-utilized and contaminated brownfield sites in Mid-Michigan. Some are the legacy of a wave of automotive plant and parts supplier closures spanning three decades. Others are former gas stations, garages and dry cleaning shops that contain an array of environmental pollutants. These idle sites are a threat to public health and a barrier to economic development. Now, a new federal grant will be put towards remediation.


People who build schools and other public infrastructure projects in Michigan might soon see a lighter paycheck. Yesterday, the Michigan Senate voted to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. That provision mandates that wages paid in state government contracts are based on collective bargain agreements.

Courtesy © General Motors

General Motors has been around for 106 years, and they’ve built a lot of vehicles. In fact, that number has recently surpassed 500-million. Half a billion Chevys, Cadillacs, and, of course, Lansing-built Oldsmobiles, and others. It's an amazing number. That’s far more than any other car company.

In just over a month, Michigan voters will decide the fate of Proposal 1. That’s the statewide ballot initiative that would generate more than $1-billion to repair and maintain Michigan roads. It’s a complex plan with many parts, the implications of which reach beyond highways and bridges. If approved, the measure would enact a constitutional change to the state sales tax, and also trigger a number of statutory changes. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been following the developments of Proposal 1.

There are few issues of public importance in Michigan that the Michigan Chamber of Commerce does not weigh in on. The state chamber is the advocate for businesses and job providers across the state. It assists more than 6,000 member employers, trade associations and local chambers in the legislative, political and legal process.

Last week, the organization Business Leaders for Michigan gathered in Lansing for one of its periodic Leadership Summits. The group’s mission is advance strategies to make Michigan a top ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. According to Detroit Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh, those in attendance which included the CEOs, Chairpersons and Senior Executive of Michigan’s largest companies and Universities, spent a good deal of time lamenting the lack of a cohesive economic growth agenda for the state.

SXSW to showcase Michigan’s creative economy

Mar 10, 2015

Tens of thousands of music and movie fans will descend on Austin, Texas next week for the South by Southwest festival. The festival’s line up features a number of Michigan musicians, but they won’t be the only ones representing the Mitten state. Joining them will be a team from the arts advocacy group Creative Many, formerly ArtServe.