Why doesn’t the media do any investigating any more? Among today’s headlines is the story that Governor Granholm is delaying the school funding cut of $127 per pupil because the state’s November property tax revenues were $150 million higher than expected. Property taxes are among the most stable forms of government revenue, so such a large jump didn’t make much sense. You wouldn’t get any understanding of the reasons for this by reading any of the newspapers. I checked out the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, and the Grand Rapids Press. All three simply parroted each other – probably just printing what was on a press release.
Here’s one quote from the Free Press:
Granholm said one reason for the additional money is that commercial property values have unexpectedly risen in some areas, particularly Southeast Michigan. That’s resulted in an additional $100 million for the School Aid Fund.
According to the just-released state revenue report for November, that isn’t the case at all.
State Education Property Tax revenue was up 14.4% from November 2008, but with October 2009 receipts below the year-ago level, the increase reflects differences in the timing of payments. If October and November State Education Property Tax receipts are combined, 2009 collections are down 7.3% from the year-ago level.
In other words, Granholm is full of it.