Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-17th District, opened the state’s 2009 legislative session last week by calling for a number of tax reforms, including repealing the recently enacted and controversial 22% surcharge on the state’s business tax and reductions in property taxes.

In outlining his agenda for the year, Dillon also repeated his call from last year to cut legislators’ salaries and end free lifetime benefits for retired legislators.

The speaker joined a number of business groups in calling for the repeal of the business tax surcharge, which was implemented in late 2007 as an eleventh-hour strategy to avoid an expansion of the state’s sales tax.

Dillon also called for the Legislature to work with Gov. Jennifer Granholm and reach a compromise on Michigan’s 2010 budget before the summer break. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

At a recent revenue estimating conference, fiscal officials announced revised revenue projections that show a drop of $579 million, to $8.3 billion, in the amount of general purpose revenue expected in the current fiscal year. The school aid fund revenues were revised downwardly by $339 million to $11.4 billion.

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