[Photo of James M. Hohman]

James M. Hohman

Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy

James M. Hohman is assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He holds a degree in economics from Northwood University in Midland, Mich.

Lansing Talks Tax Hikes as Michigan Poverty Increases

Poverty rate data released today shows that Michigan fell further in its economic status. The percentage of Michigan residents living in poverty increased from 14 percent to 14.4 percent in 2008, according to the Census Bureau release… more

Ecorse Officials' Arraignment Highlights Need for Transparency

Following up on yesterday's report of possible corruption in Detroit Public Schools, The Detroit News reports on the arraignment of Ecorse's mayor and controller, who have been charged with conspiracy, bribery and fraud with regards to the city's public works contractor. The pair allegedly received at least $10,000 and a Lexus from the contractor, according to The News. … more

DPS Building Scandal Highlights Need For Transparency

The Detroit News today writes about a possible scandal regarding building construction and land purchases by Detroit Public Schools. The district paid more than $156.2 million for services it may have obtained for $15 million, according to The News. It underscores the importance of transparency. … more

Michigan Median Household Income Falls

Michigan median household incomes grew by 1.7 percent, according to a release today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Adjusted for inflation, Michigan incomes fell by 2.4 percent. Overall, the national median household income decreased by 1.3 percent. Unlike much economic news in the past decade, a number of other states are sharing in the downturn. … more

Unemployment Rate Increases

State-by-state figures are not released until Friday, but today the state released August employment and unemployment figures. After decreasing in July, Michigan's unemployment rated inched back to 15.2 percent. … more

Governor's Proposal: Equivalent of 58 Percent Surcharge

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has gone public a laundry list of proposed tax hikes and “loophole closings.” It's a "death by a thousand cuts" strategy, which most items extracting relatively small amounts, or targeted at politically powerless populations like smokers. Unfortunately, these little injuries add up to a lot of blood drained from Michigan's already ailing economy. To put this in perspective, to raise the same amount of revenue raising business tax rates, the current (and reviled) 22 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax would have to be raised from 22 percent to 51 percent. Alternatives, the governor and legislature could jack-up the stat income tax by another 11 percent, increasing the rates from 4.35 percent to 4.85 percent. (estimates on revenue from each tax are available here.) … more

Budget deal includes more Mackinac Center ideas

The state has until the end of the month to pass a budget and a key figure, Mich. Speaker of the House Andy Dillon just stated that an agreement is "very close". While a number of the Mackinac Center's reform ideas are being discussed for this budget, the speaker is looking at more. … more