Michigan Taxation Reader Survey, New LSSU President, UP Hospital to Close, Reminder for Veterans in Your Community, Tax Credit Checks, Student Loan Help, & Increase in High School Graduates

DALL·E 2024-03-03 21.22.47 - A wide format image representing taxation in Michigan. The background should be a blend of green and blue, symbolizing the state's natural landscapes


Reader Survey at End of This Edition

Please take the time to answer our survey question and let us know what you think about Michigan taxation.

Welcome to New LSSU President

An Upper Peninsula welcome to Dr. David Travis who will become the 11th President of LSSU on June 3, 2024. He hails from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. He comes with lots of experience and is a highly recognized professor and administrator. Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie, the Upper Peninsula and Michigan.

Upper Peninsula Hospital to Close

Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital is due to close, according to their owner, Aspirus Health Plans. Aspirius has said they will invest $30 million into renovations at neighboring Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Ontonagon will not have local health services nor a hospital. Upper Peninsula State Senator Ed McBroom has called for investigation into why this is happening. More to come.

Remind Veterans in Your Life and in Your Community

They can call toll free, 800-273-8255, if they need to talk with someone about a crisis confronting them, whether it be a mental or physical health issue that they need to get help with. There is someone available when you call the above number and they will listen to you and help you find assistance.

Veterans and family members of veterans: keep this toll-free number and use it as often as you need. 800-273-8255.

Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit Checks

Lots of Michiganders will receive a retroactive stimulus check in the coming weeks. Lots means almost 700,000 Michiganders.

The Michigan Department of Treasury will soon begin mailing $550 to citizens who qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2022.

“To qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2022 a married couple with three kids qualified if they earned less than $59,187. “For individuals without children the income qualification is less than $16,480.

The state says checks should start being mailed in the next several weeks. You may have already received your check. Watch your mailbox.

Go to www.michigan.gov and then go to the Department of Treasury for more information online.

Attention UP Students: Help With Student Loan Repayments Available

Borrowers in the Upper Peninsula throughout Michigan will be getting help from the federal government, who is forgiving $47 million in student loan debt for 6,040 Michigan borrowers. There are a total of 1.4 million student loan borrowers in Michigan.

The debt relief is part of the new income-driven repayment program.

Increase in High School Graduates in the UP and Throughout Michigan

Michigan has released data that shows that the high school class of 2023 had a 81.8% graduation rate–which we are told is the second highest in Michigan history. This is also the second year in a row that graduation rates have increased.

There is an increase in the Upper Peninsula in the number of high school graduates seeking higher education programs in two-year and four year college and university programs.

From the World Around Us

Gallup and Walton Family Foundation report that Gen Z people (defined as ages 12-27) have the poorest mental health of any generation.

Just 44% of Gen Zers say they feel prepared for the future. According to the report, “They’re entering the workforce loaded with student debt. The cost of housing and other basic needs continue to soar.” The report also says that Gen Zers are “passionate activists–70% of Gen Zers around the world say they’re involved in a social or political cause.” (Edelman).

The report says that multiple polls have found TikTok to be the top source of news for Gen Z.

Graduated Income Tax Versus Flat Tax in Michigan

Rick Haglund writes in the Michigan Advance that “thirty states and the federal government have graduated income taxes. Michigan has a flat income tax rate of 4.05% that will return to last year’s rate of 4.25% in the 2024 tax year because of a court order in a dispute over whether this year’s tax rate was a permanent or temporary cut.”

Haglund cites a report by the Michigan League for Public Policy that says “the top 1% of Michigan earners pay an effective rate of 5.7% while those with the lowest incomes pay an effective rate of 7.1%.” (Michigan Advance, Rick Haglund, 2.18.24). Lots more online giving you pros and cons on this issue. Take a look.


“We still propose to help create the postwar world on a basis which shall stop aggressors for keeps and, so far as humanly possible, substitute justice for force among freeman. We propose to do it primarily for our own sake.” Arthur H. Vandenberg, US Senator, 1928-51, (R-Grand Rapids). He participated in the creation of the United Nations and helped lead the nation from a foreign policy of isolationism to one of internationalism.

“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible–but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” Rheinhold Niebuhr.


“Life After Power: Seven Presidents Search for Purpose Beyond the White House.” Jared Cohen.

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Ken Raisanen on March 4, 2024 at 8:25 am

    Ontonagon was the Aspirus beachhead for their expansion into to UP. Reps at that time proclaimed Ontonagon would have a hospital forever. Their ads tout rural health care. The press release said dropping to clinic status was the best option for Ontonagon.

    On a good day, it is a minimum one hour drive to the closest ER if the Ontonagon unit closes. At an hour and fifteen minutes away in good weather, Laurium is hardly nearby.

    OAH has a newly renovated ER and they have all the requirements (lab, diagnostics, pharmacy) to qualify as one of the state’s REH (Rural Emergency Hospital).

    Aspirus has made a knuckle squeezing decision that does NIT meet the needs or geography if Ontonagon County. We deserve better and not appraising local leaders of this plan (originally they took down the attached long term care unit to make way for a new, downsized hospital) before dropping this bombshell does not seem very ‘rural friendly.

    Yes, the bed count was low, but the ER numbers are not. This is a disaster in the making for the residents, industries and tourists in Ontonagon County.

    • Ken Raisanen on March 4, 2024 at 8:28 am

      Sorry….”nickle squeezing decision that does NOT’…

  2. Ann Hilton Fisher on March 4, 2024 at 8:27 am

    There are no $550 checks being mailed. The amount averages 550 but depends entirely on how much the taxpayer’s EIC was in 2022. Some will get much less. Some will get much more. In either case, most will come by direct deposit.

  3. DMig on March 4, 2024 at 11:49 am

    ‘Remind Veterans in Your Life and in Your Community’ good advice for ours’s and any community.

    How about Veterans Month. One day doesn’t seem like enough especially since there are so many other groups with entire months associated to their cause/heritage/plight

    January: Low Vision Awareness Month, American Heart Month
    February: African American History Month
    March: National Women’s History Month, Irish-American Heritage Month
    April: African-American Heritage Month, Celebrate Diversity Month, Passover
    May: Jewish Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month
    June: National Immigrant Heritage Month

  4. Howard Campbell on March 4, 2024 at 1:13 pm

    H.R. 6430: Arch Act – would increase Medicare & Medicaid reimbursement rates for rural hospitals.

    This is bi-partisan legislation. It has been locked up in the House Ways & Means Committee since December 2023. Written by a rural Republican House member from Alabama (has 3 Dem co-sponsors).

    https://www.govtrack.us/ gives it a 4% chance to pass committee, and 1% chance to become enacted legislation.

    Main opposition from House Republicans in states that have refused to expand Medicare/Medicaid benefits per ACA.

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