From the Detroit Free Press

Published 7:55 pm Thursday, January 3, 2008

By Staff
State ends year in black
Michigan began the 2007-2008 fiscal year with a $353 million surplus on Wednesday.
A pokeswoman for the state budget office, said stronger revenues from income tax and the lottery produced a $259-million balance for the state general fund and a $94-million surplus in the School Aid Fund. Fewer welfare cases than expected and cost-saving measures also were factors, she said.
The extra money will carry over into the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. It could be used to shore up the state rainy-day fund, or possibly to fund such unresolved budget items as keeping two State Police crime labs open or maintaining fish and wildlife operations.
The surplus for the 2006-07 fiscal year illustrates the inexact science of revenue predictions. For at least the past five years, state revenues have been generally worse than predictions, resulting in spending deficits.
Couple expects $150, surprised with $250,000
A Huron County couple turned in a Michigan Lottery ticket to a Bad Axe gas station clerk, and were unhappy when she refused to give them the $150 they thought they had won.
The couple complained when the clerk told them they would have to drive the 150 miles to Lansing to turn in the winning ticket.
The store owner said he then explained to the couple that their lottery ticket was actually worth $250,000.
Gas prices in state rise
7 cents since mid-December
AAA Michigan says the statewide average of $3.09 is 86 cents higher than last year at this time.
The auto club says the Marquette area has the state's highest gas prices at $3.19 per gallon. The cheapest prices at the pump can be found in the Saginaw/Bay City area at $3.05 per gallon.
The statewide average for biodiesel is $3.48 and $2.72 for ethanol.
AAA Michigan surveys 2,800 Michigan gas stations daily.
From the Lansing State Journal
Controversial business tax takes effect today
Some widely despised Michigan business taxes were killed off in 2007.
But it remains to be seen whether the new Michigan Business Tax, which takes effect today, will be any more welcomed than its predecessors.
The original Michigan Business Tax won praise from a variety of businesses when it was first adopted this summer. It was estimated that up to seven of 10 businesses would pay less under the new format than under the Single Business Tax it replaces.