Task force examines the “underground” economy

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura D. Corrigan, along with state, local and federal officials, will in a couple of hours unveil a report on Michigan’s so-called “underground economy.”

The problem, according to the report, is that a significant portion of the state economy is “underground” and unreported. It’s estimated in the report that the resulting tax gap is approximately $345 billion annually.

The impact on Michigan’s children and families is enormous, as underground earners underpay child support or evade it altogether. As a result, often child support under-payers and evaders avoid building relationships with their children, for fear that they’ll face economic consequences.

The 82-page report is the culmination of the efforts of the Underground Economy Task Force, and staff of the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court Administrative Office. The task force’s goal is to bring underground earners “above ground, so that they can participate in their families and the community. The task force will discuss their findings at 10:30 this morning at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing.

Task force members are:

Honorable Maura D. Corrigan, Justice, Michigan Supreme Court

Maurice Aouate, Special Agent In Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation Division

Michael C. Leibson, Assistant U.S. Attorney

Honorable Chad C. Schmucker, Judge, 4th Circuit Court, Jackson

Suzanne K. Hollyer, Director, Oakland County Friend of the Court Office

Mary Lannoye Controller/Administrator, Ingham County

James Long Chief, Corrections Division, Michigan Attorney General

Richard D. McLellan, McLellan Law Office

Patrick O’Brien, Chief, Child Support Division, Michigan Attorney General

Russell Prins Chief, Revenues & Collections Division, Michigan Attorney General

Douglas B. Roberts, MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research

Marilyn F. Stephen, Director, Michigan Office of Child Support