Runestad comments on governor’s 2020 budget recommendation

LANSING, Mich. — After listening to the governor’s presentation of her fiscal year 2020 state budget recommendation on Tuesday, Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, issued the following statement.

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I am eager to start work on the new budget. During this process, we must make sure to prioritize what is most important to Michigan families.

“As the governor has repeatedly mentioned, the sorry condition of our roads is of major importance to all of us. Yes, we must fix the roads.

“However, I have some serious concerns about the enormous tax increase she has proposed for the fix and how that will affect our already tax-burdened residents. Let’s begin the conversation on whether that’s the best solution.

“I was very pleased to see this budget’s large increase in school funding. Good training and education are critical to the future of the next generation and our state, but we will need to see the specifics.

“The governor’s tax proposal for small businesses was a swing and a miss, unfortunately. While she said she wants business taxes to be fair, expanding the corporate income tax to include small businesses is anything but, since it would mean increasing taxes on the small, mom and pop shops that are the lifeblood of our communities.

“In regard to repealing the pension tax, we need to take a close look at it and ensure the system is fair for all seniors, not just a select group.

“There is a lot of work ahead of us. During our budget negotiations, we must avoid placing the burden on families and the most underprivileged among us.

“I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure we complete a budget that puts the families in Oakland County and across the state first.”