Proposal 1 Eliminates Personal Property Tax and That’s Good for MI
By Fulton Sheen
Having been on the House Tax Policy Committee six years I am very familiar with the MIchigan Personal Property Tax. I never voted for a tax increase in all the years I was there, but I did advocate for getting rid of one onerous tax with an alternative, which is what this is. This proposal is not opposed by any major group and is supported by small business, big business as well as local governments – who are the primary recipients of the revenue.
The Personal Property Tax taxes a business owner’s office furniture, computers, copy machines, tools, machines, tractors and other business related equipment. We want Michigan business owners to invest in their business, because every desk, computer, machine or piece of equipment purchased is a potential new job. The Personal Property Tax has nothing to do with making a profit, it taxes your businesses’ existence and Michigan is the only state in the midwest that has not eliminated or reduced this tax.
The Personal Property Tax generates approximately $1.2B annually, of which a portion goes to schools, with the majority of the rest going to township, village and city governments and communities. About $600 Million of the money to fund the reduction in the Personal Property Tax will come from expiring tax credits under the former Michigan Business Tax as well as from the 20% of commercial businesses still above the $80K exemption that are still paying the tax. Absent using this funding to improve our tax climate by reducing the Personal Property Tax, it would end up being spent by the legislature. So allocating this revenue to eliminate the personal property tax is good for business, will allow and encourage employers to invest in their business and hire more people. Over all, the Mackinac Center has said, Proposal 1 amounts to a $500M tax cut to around 80% of the businesses in MI.