Snyder Plans Tax Break for More Homeowners, More Money for Universities

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing a $52 billion state budget that includes a tax break for moderate-income homeowners. The Republican governor on Wednesday called for restoring the Homestead Property Tax Credit to additional homeowners. The tax break would be retroactive to last tax year and continue into the future. The credit's available to homeowners with household income below $50,000 and whose home's taxable value is below $135,000. Snyder would raise the income threshold to $60,000 and change a calculation so qualifying homeowners get more money back. In 2011, he made many households ineligible for the break as part of a business tax cut. Some Republicans say Snyder's plan is too modest and he should back a permanent cut in the income tax rate.

Snyder called for a 6 percent funding increase for Michigan's public universities. The increase proposed Wednesday would give the schools additional state aid for the third straight year after four consecutive years of cuts. Aid to universities currently is down one-third from just seven years ago and was cut significantly by Snyder in his first year in office. Schools wouldn't get some funding if they increase tuition more than 3.2 percent. Michigan's 28 community colleges are due for a 3 percent funding increase.

He also proposed extra money for road and bridge maintenance thanks in part to a nearly $1 billion surplus over three years. The Republican governor on Wednesday asked lawmakers to set aside roughly $250 million from a projected budget surplus for the transportation budget.

More than half would help the state secure a federal funding match. The remaining $115 million in additional money for road and bridge projects is about half the one-time boost that occurred in the current budget year.

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