NFIB Main Street Agenda for 2017
Our state has made significant progress and Michigan is back on track to being a great state to bring a business, grow a business or start a new business. However, there are challenges on the horizon that must be addressed if we are to continue on the path to prosperity and opportunity for small business.
Keeping the State’s Fiscal House in Order Without Tax Increases
For years NFIB has led the fight to demand spending reforms and head off attempts to balance the budget on the backs of Michigan small business by raising taxes. But vigilance is needed to be certain that runaway spending and the urge to finance it with new taxes do not make a comeback.
State Income Tax Rollback or Repeal for Michigan?
The House and Senate have competing proposals to repeal the state Income Tax. However, in the past, efforts to eliminate the income tax have been tied to increases in other taxes to make up for the decrease in revenue to the state.
No Sales Tax on Services to Fund Overspending
Just when you think lawmakers have learned their lesson on trying to expand the sales tax to services, the proposal gains new life as a way to raise revenue to grow government. Recently, the Governor’s Budget Director suggested that taxation of services could be part of the overall tax discussion this session. NFIB has successfully defeated past efforts to expand the sales tax to services and we will continue to battle any new attempts to move this bad idea forward.
Guard Against Attempts to Change the New Corporate Income Tax
Dumping the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) was a major game changer for small business, but new schemes to raise taxes are always on the horizon. Some are suggesting raising the Corporate Income Tax rate or including non C corporations in the tax.
No More Corporate Welfare via Targeted Tax Incentives
Targeted tax handouts to select industries and individual companies are making a comeback even while current budgets are stressed by the same failed policies of the prior Granholm administration.
Enough Local Government Over-Reach
Local governments are using “local control” as an excuse to grow their own bureaucracy with burdensome regulations that duplicate already existing federal and state laws. Small business cannot afford to keep up with overlapping local ordinances and rules.
Stop Government Wage and Benefit Mandates
The push to mandate paid leave, and other benefits that small business cannot afford, is taking place at all levels of government including federal, state and even local efforts. Now labor unions and liberal progressive front groups are conducting a petition drive to put a mandated paid leave proposal on the Michigan statewide ballot in 2018! If they are successful in getting this proposal passed on the ballot in the 2018 November elections, Michigan would have one of the most stringent paid sick leave employer mandates in the country.
Continue Progress on Cutting Unnecessary Regulations
Much progress has been made in Michigan to improve our regulatory climate and make state agencies more accountable to the legislature when they develop rules. However, there is more work to be done and problems with unnecessary and unclear rules and regulations will always be an ongoing challenge.
Rescind or Change Rule Requiring Phone Replacement
A classic example of the need for constant monitoring of ridiculous rules and agency over-reach, is a little known Public Service Commission rule that required phone replacement by the end of 2016. Small business dodged a bullet when the deadline was extended to 2019, but the rule needs to be changed or rescinded entirely and NFIB will be working to do that in this legislative session.
Make State Agencies Pay When They Lose in Court
State agencies should have to pay the court costs of a prevailing party when that state agency loses a lawsuit involving a regulatory or permit issue. Legislation has already been introduced in this session to make this requirement on the agencies and NFIB will be pushing to get it passed.
Stop Taxing Health Insurance Claims
While attempts to push a $1.98 billion health insurance tax hike on citizens and small business was thwarted in 2015, legislation that would have eliminated the Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) entirely was vetoed by the Governor in 2016. NFIB is working to make another run at this issue this session.
Reform Michigan’s Costly No-Fault Auto Insurance System
NFIB supports efforts to address the high auto insurance rates paid by citizens and small business by capping unlimited coverages and supporting improvements that lower cost.
Require Hospital Pricing Fairness and Transparency
Market driven reforms to lower costs and make health care more accessible to small business and their employees cannot occur until hospitals and other service providers are more accountable and transparent in their pricing policies by posting prices for procedures and services.
Seize the Opportunity for Real Health Care Reform
Expected changes at the federal level to the Affordable Care Act could give Michigan an opportunity to support real health care reform desperately needed by small business. NFIB will be on the lookout for any such opportunities to be sure that the small business concerns are a part of the discussion.
Small Business Supports Further Civil Forfeiture Reforms
Important reforms to government seizure of private property have been made in the last two sessions. Small business owners in Michigan have made it clear that they want to see further reform of the state’s “civil asset forfeiture” laws by moving to criminal forfeiture and eliminating civil asset forfeiture entirely.
Time to Reform Public Pension and Benefit Programs
Michigan small business owners support efforts to bring some common sense to government pensions by moving from the unsustainable defined benefit model to the defined contribution method used in the private sector. They also believe that health insurance benefit levels of state and local government employees should be no greater than the average private-sector benefit levels.
Repeal Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Law
NFIB members support repealing Michigan’s wasteful and outdated Prevailing Wage law that drives up construction costs for taxpayers and discourages small business from bidding on government funded construction projects.
Protect Private Property Rights
Private Property Rights are the bedrock of our free enterprise system and they are always under attack from overzealous government agencies and local government. Vigilance is necessary to head off laws, rules, and actions by government that erode this basic right.
Prevent Erosion of Liability Reform in Michigan
Reforms to tort law enacted in the early nineties, as well as a conservative state Supreme Court, have given our state a fair and predicable legal system. However, we must continue to guard against legislation that would erode this business climate advantage.
Preserving Michigan’s Term Limits Law
NFIB has made it clear to lawmakers that small business supports term limits and any attempt to change or repeal the law would be met with opposition. The most recent attempt to change Michigan’s term limits law was in the 2016 “lame duck” legislative session. NFIB action was successful in halting these efforts and Michigan’s term limits law remains in place.
Keeping Michigan a Right to Work State
Years of effort by NFIB in supporting Right to Work finally paid off as landmark legislation was pushed through in the last weeks of the 2012 Lame Duck session that makes Michigan the 24th Right to Work state. However, labor unions are always looking for ways to get around the law and legislation to repeal the law is introduced every session.