michigan economy

WKAR/Peter Whorf

What’s made in Poland and is named after the Spanish word for waterfall? It’s the newest convertible from Buick, the Cascada, unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show. The North American International Auto Show is in full swing at Detroit’s Cobo Center this week. Current  State will bring you all the latest these next few days in our NAIAS series.

Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter
http://gophouse.org/representatives/central/cotter/

What is ahead for Michigan in 2015? An income tax cut? A sales tax hike? Could elected officials move to repeal the state’s prevailing wage provisions? All are possible. A clearer picture will begin to emerge Wednesday when the 2015 Michigan legislature convenes.

WKAR

On today's show, we heard briefly from Keith Allard of the recently formed group, "Protect MI Taxpayers." Allard is also Chairman of the Grand Rapids Taxpayers Association and a recent unsuccessful candidate for the state legislature. His group is launching a campaign urging voters to defeat the call to increase the state sales tax by a cent. Michigan voters will decide that issue on May 5.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Now that we’re into the new year, you might be thinking ”I’m ready to give myself a makeover.” It’s not just people who have that impulse. Entire communities plan what they’ll look like in the future, and that often means getting rid of outdated eyesores. That’s a polite description of what cities large and small deal constantly deal with: urban blight. The city of Lansing has recently received a federal grant to eliminate blighted properties.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

A closely-watched study predicts the creation of about 60,000 new jobs in Michigan this year.  That’s from the University of Michigan’s annual economic forecast, released recently. But only about 10-percent of those new jobs are expected to come from manufacturing, historically one of Michigan’s strongest job sectors, including here in Greater Lansing. So where are the new jobs coming from, and what trends are creating them?

Flickr - Carl Malamud

Last week we learned that e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday 2014 topped $2-billion. That’s up more than 15-percent over last year. Big box giant Walmart and online powerhouse Amazon saw sizeable surges in their bottom lines. But the reports are not welcome news for everyone, including traditional brick and mortar retailers in Michigan.

Advocates say homelessness shouldn't be a crime

Nov 13, 2014
http://mihomeless.org/

A group of pastors and volunteers for a local non-profit in Ft. Lauderdale are facing jail time and hundreds of dollars in fine after a run-in with police last week. Their crime? Passing out food to the homeless in a city park. Advocates for the homeless says these kinds of ordinances are part of a larger trend of cities criminalizing the activities of homeless people. Here in Michigan, a number of cities have ordinances restricting vagrancy and panhandling.

Detroit house
Courtesy photo / http://auctions.buildingdetroit.org/home

One of the biggest challenges faced by new Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is the poor condition of thousands of houses in the city. People won’t choose to live in a city where they can’t get a decent house. The Detroit Land Bank Authority hopes a new system of auctioning off vacant houses will spur a wave of movement into the city. It’s called “Building Detroit”.

Flickr - Phillip Stewart

The new fiscal year begins Wednesday here in Michigan and for the federal government. It’s the first day that low-income households can apply for home heating assistance funds.

The numbers behind Michigan's incomplete comeback

Sep 18, 2014
michigan.gov

Are we truly a Comeback State? Just how much can a governor influence the economy? The Citizens Research Council, an independent, non-partisan research organization that analyzes public policy questions, recently analyzed data to try to answer these questions.

Michigan vineyards stressed by cool, wet weather

Sep 18, 2014
Flickr - Amy

Strange weather in Michigan continues to affect various kinds of agriculture. Current State’s Melissa Benmark has been checking into the effects of a hard winter and a cool summer on the wine industry in the state.

glhc.org

Federal officials consider housing “affordable” when it costs less than 30-percent of its residents’ income. By that measure, affordable housing is outside the reach of more than 60,000 families in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of this morning, there’s a new game plan for to increase quality, affordable housing in the Lansing area.

MSU breakthrough opens new window on solar energy

Sep 2, 2014
www.egr.msu.edu/

When we think of capturing solar energy, we often think of the large, clunky panels on rooftops that are expensive and inefficient. But what if your windows could capture the energy of the sunlight as it passes through them to help run your coffee maker or heat your house in the winter?

The housing market in Michigan is much healthier today than it was four years ago.  Foreclosure rates have been declining in that time, though there was a slight uptick in filings in July.

Do corporate tax incentives boost Michigan's economy?

Jul 30, 2014
umich.edu

Last week, General Motors announced plans to expand its Delta Township plant and requested a 50% tax break over 12 years from the Lansing City Council. Similarly, the new logistics center at General Motor’s Grand River plant that just started construction that comes with a $4-million tax break.

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