June 24, 2015
How Obamacare punishes employers that try to help their workers, By Charlie Owens / Detroit News
No good deed goes unpunished as a rule by the IRS will penalize employers that try to help workers with the high cost of health insurance. This latest impact of Obamacare was the subject of a Detroit News opinion blog by NFIB State Director Charlie Owens.
“So how did this all come about? Why are we punishing employers who are trying to help employees afford healthcare? Well, because this bad behavior doesn’t conform to the ‘one size fits all’ template of government run health insurance.”
June 22, 2015
MIRS Monday Podcast, With Kyle Melinn / MIRS
Rep. Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) and Charlie Owens, State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Michigan (NFIB), debate the pros and cons of installing a graduated income tax in Michigan during this special edition of the MIRS Monday podcast.
“Capital is what creates jobs. We love poor people as much as the next person, but I’ve never had one give me a job.”
– Charles OWENS, director of the National Federation of Independent Business Michigan Chapter, during a debate with Rep. Jim TOWNSEND (D-Royal Oak) over a proposed graduated income tax for Michigan.
June 11, 2015
Death Star’ bill stopping local wage, benefit ordinances passes Senate, By Emily Lawler / MLIVE
The NFIB supported bill (HB 4052) that would prohibit local governments from imposing local wage and hour mandates, was reported out of the Senate Competitiveness Committee and passed by the full Senate the same day. Opponents of the bill claimed that the legislation is a “Death Star” bill for Michigan communities, but NFIB and other business groups continue to press the point that wage and hour regulation is the prevue of federal and state government and not appropriate for local government micromanagement.
“Groups including the Michigan League for Public Policy, Progress Michigan and the Michigan Townships Association oppose the legislation. Organizations including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Manufacturers Association and National Federation of Independent Businesses support it.”
June 10, 2015
Senate panel votes to kill Mich. film office, incentives, By Kathleen Gray and Julie Hinds / Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Free Press reported on action by the Senate Government Operations Committee to put an end to Michigan’s questionable practice of doling out taxpayer money to Hollywood movie projects. While supporters of the questionable program bemoaned the Senate action NFIB offered a different point of view…
But Charlie Owens, state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said the bill is just a matter of fairness. “These are all well-intended programs, but in the end you’re taking from a lot of other businesses to support these incentives and our members don’t support that,” he said.
June 8, 2015
Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture laws need to change, By Charlie Owens / Detroit News
A package of NFIB supported bills passed by the Michigan House to reform the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws was the subject of a Detroit News opinion blog by NFIB State Director Charlie Owens.
“Current civil forfeiture laws at both the state and federal level lack due process. The government may seize private property from a citizen or small business owner without ever charging them with a crime or providing evidence prior to seizing assets.”
May 27, 2015
By Charlie Owens / Detroit News
NFIB State Director Charlie Owens talks about the impact of the new EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers rule that would change the definition of “navigable waters” and expand the jurisdiction and regulation of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
“All of this ‘reg-speak’ is really about an unprecedented effort by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expand federal authority over private property via their Waters of the United States rule. The proposed rule will greatly expand federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction over small businesses and private land owners.”
May 26, 2015
Bill banning setting of local minimum wage sparks partisan divide, by Lindsay VanHulle BridgeMagazine / Crain’s Detroit Business
In a story about an NFIB supported bill (House Bill 4052 sponsored by Rep. Earl Poleski) that would prohibit local governments from imposing local wage and hour mandates, opponents claimed that the legislation would erase local control over economic growth in Michigan’s cities and townships.
“Charlie Owens, director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Michigan, said cities and townships have enough priorities on their own without diving into policy questions better left to Lansing and Washington. He testified before the House Commerce and Trade Committee.”
May 19, 2015
Despite attempts by protesters to disrupt a House Commerce and Trade Committee hearing over HB 4052, an NFIB supported bill that would prohibit local governments from imposing local wage and hour mandates, the bill was reported out of the committee and later passed by the House. Protesters claimed that the legislation is a “Death Star” bill for Michigan communities. But NFIB State Director, Charlie Owens begged to differ:
“…with local requirements, small businesses are less able to make it in a competitive economic environment. You basically end up with just the larger of the businesses that remain. And then if you continue, you end up with nothing,” Owens said. He pointed out that if a municipality loses all its business because of regulations like these, it could get into a bad financial situation. “That’s all fine and good until those local experiments fail, and then every taxpayer in the state has to step up and bail them out,” Owens said.
May 18, 2015
‘Sin taxes’ yield more than double business taxes in Mich., By Chad Livengood / Detroit News
A story in the Detroit News reported that smokers and drinkers paid more taxes last year than Michigan companies paid in net business income taxes because of big company tax credits. However, NFIB State Director Charlie Owens pointed out a recent study by the Anderson Economic Group that showed most small businesses are paying more than their fair share of business taxes.
The Anderson Economic Group pegs small business pass-through taxes at about $800 million of the $8.9 billion in personal income taxes collected in 2013. “We’re paying more than our fair share,” said Charlie Owens, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. “We’re not getting sweetheart (tax credit) deals, we’re not getting carve-outs.”
May 15, 2015
Local governments need to butt out of benefit decisions, by Charlie Owens / Detroit News
Local governments have no business setting their own minimum wages or requiring employers to provide paid leave according to NFIB State Director Charlie Owens.
“Small business cannot afford local micromanagement of employer benefit policies heaped on top of already existing federal and state requirements.”
May 13, 2015
Skubick: Republicans, Gov. Snyder disagree over prevailing wage, by Tim Skubick / WLNS Channel 6 News
Television coverage of a contentious Senate Committee hearing on repealing Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Law featured an interview with NFIB State Director Charlie Owens defending the Senate legislation that would repeal the law…
Reporter: “This is not an attack on unions?”
Business lobbyist Charlie Owens: “Absolutely not.”
“Even if prevailing wage is repealed, it is not going to have an impact on the overall high wages in this industry and if you look at states like Ohio they found wages over time have increased,” said Charlie Owens, business lobbyist.