NFIB/Michigan in the News

Date: May 26, 2016 Last Edit: May 31, 2016

NFIB in the News

May 31, 2016

Michigan businesses paid $14B in taxes in 2014
, Jonathon Oosting / Detroit

lawmakers and policy officials are blaming sluggish Corporate Income Tax
collections for a loss in revenue that resulted in cuts to current and upcoming
fiscal year budgets by $333 million. Since most small businesses and other non-corporate
“pass through” entities pay their business tax along with their personal income
tax, and not the Corporate Income Tax, some are implying that small businesses
are not paying “their fair share”. A recent report highlighted in the Detroit
News put that notion to rest by pointing out that small businesses are paying
more in taxes than their bigger business corporate counterparts. NFIB/Michigan
State Director Charlie Owens noted:

“You see
corporate income taxes are down, and folks point to that and say businesses
aren’t paying their fair share,” Owens said. “The reality is, when you break out
those income tax numbers, small business is paying most of the business tax, if
you want to be technical.”

May 20, 2016

Our part-time jobs president
, Charles Owens / Detroit News

State Director Charlie Owens authored an opinion editorial in the Detroit News to
point out that the new Department of Labor Overtime Rule change is just another
government regulation that encourages growth in part-time jobs over full-time
positions. He writes:

“Once again,
efforts by the Obama administration to help the ‘little guy’ fall flat on their
face and end up causing many to lose pay and benefits.”

May 18, 2016

is a big deal: Millions more Americans to get overtime pay
, Kate Rogers / CNBC

CNBC spoke
with NFIB Michigan member Rodney Kloha, president of Circle K Service in
Midland, Michigan, who said the new overtime rules are troubling. “I
have to look at how I pay them — this isn’t just in the realm of giving them
raises,” Kloha said. “These are management positions in our region,
and with this rule the [Department of Labor] is trying to do a one-size-fits-all,
and unfortunately it doesn’t fit for a lot of small businesses,” he said,
adding “$30,000 to $40,000 a year is a good income here.”

May 13, 2016

Lucy Ann Lance Show,
Lucy Ann Lance / 1290 WLBY Ann Arbor

The State
Senate last week voted to stop local communities from banning the use of
plastic and paper bags.  NFIB/Michigan State Director Charlie Owens was
interviewed by the Lucy
Ann Lance Show
on 1290 WLBY Ann Arbor about NFIB’s opposition to the
ban.  Owens told the radio program that this type of regulation should be
left up to the state and federal governments.  He said that small
businesses with multiple locations will have to comply with several different
standards depending on the local micromanagement.  He also argued that the
cost of compliance would be passed back onto the consumers.  The bill will
now go to the House.  Listen to the interview HERE.

May 11, 2016

bags fuel tug of war between state, locals
, Kathleen Gray / Detroit Free

The Detroit
Free Press reported that even while the state legislature is poised to stop
localities from banning plastic bags, one county is continuing to move forward
with their bill. NFIB/Michigan State Director Charlie Owens told the paper:

“We don’t
disagree with the honorable intentions here, but this encourages job providers
to locate elsewhere. This is an activist local government that has put
regulations on businesses that doesn’t occur in other locations. There are some
things that are better left to the state or federal government.”

April 28, 2016

Biz: Say No To Plastic Bag Bans
, Moody on the Market

Efforts by
some cities and local governments to pass a local ordinance that would ban
stores from giving plastic bags to customers and/or impose a fee for each plastic
or paper bag they distribute drew a sharp response from NFIB State Director
Charlie Owens:

businesses are already overwhelmed with state and federal regulatory
requirements as well as already existing local rules. Heaping yet another
recordkeeping and compliance burden on them is not a wise economic development
policy for local governments or the state.”

April 1, 2016

Prison Guard Union
Provides Lurid Claims for U-M Anti-Privatization Report
, Tom Gantert /
Capitol Confidential

A University
of Michigan “research study” that used only government employed union prison food
service workers in focus groups discovered that (surprise!) only government
union food service workers provided adequate levels of service in prisons. The
report slammed private food service vendors being used in prisons and favored unionized
government workers. Coincidently, the focus groups were arranged by the prison
worker’s own union, the Michigan Corrections Organization, an affiliate of the
Service Employees International Union (SEIU). NFIB State Director Charlie Owens
observed in the article:

appears to be another union-produced study with a preconceived outcome being
paraded around as research,” Owens said.

March 30, 2016

Frank Beckman Show – WJR Radio Detroit

businesses with more than 7000 square feet of space and a multi-line phone
system could be required to scrap their phones and buy a new system before
December 31 of this year under a little known Michigan Public Service
Commission (MPSC) rule. NFIB State Director Charlie Owens talked with Frank
Beckmann about the rule on the Frank Beckmann Show that aired on WJR Detroit

Listen to
the interview HERE.


March 17, 2016

Judge Garland is bad news for small business,
Detroit News

The Detroit
news published an Op-Ed piece by State Director Charlie Owens that discussed the
judicial record of Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. In the editorial,
Owens made it clear that Garland’s track record did not bode well for the
nation’s small business owners:

“A cursory
examination of Judge Garland’s record points to a judge who nearly always sides
with regulators, labor unions and trial lawyers at the expense of small
businesses”, said Owens. “Small business has been under heavy pressure from
bureaucrats and regulators that have expanded their power over the private

March 16, 2016

Says Hospitals Should Post Prices For Treatments, Procedures

As reported
by WSIM radio broadcasting in the St. Joseph, MI area, “a Michigan Senate
committee is considering legislation requiring hospitals to post the prices of
the various procedures and services they provide. Charlie Owens, Michigan
Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, says it’s only
fair for patients to know roughly what they’ll be charged, so they can make
decisions about where to go for non-emergency treatments.”

“If you go
into a hospital, we don’t think it’s too much to ask that you have a pretty
good idea of what your costs are going to be going in,” Owens told WSJM.


March 15, 2016

Calls For Hospital Price Postings
, Moody on the Market

The high
cost of health care has a major small business organization in Michigan calling
for posted prices for medical services and procedures by hospitals across the
state. In fact, they’re backing a bill in the Michigan Senate that would make
posted prices by hospital organizations a state law requirement. Charlie Owens,
State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business, told the
Senate Health Policy Committee that:

“With the
high cost of health care and the requirements that everyone have coverage under
the Affordable Care Act, it is time for hospitals to be more accountable and
transparent for the prices they charge for procedures and services.”

March 9, 2016

2 million Michigan drivers could see insurance rate hike, Alexander Alusheff / Lansing State Journal

In a story that ran in both the Lansing State Journal and the Detroit Free Press, NFIB was mentioned as one of the members of a coalition formed to halt an attempt to raise auto insurance rates:

“A host of groups called the Stop the Car Insurance Tax Coalition opposed the repeal. The group includes the Insurance Institute of Michigan, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, the Michigan Insurance Coalition and the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.”

March 3, 2016

Stop last-minute adoption of rules, By Charles Owens, NFIB / Detroit News

It’s still early in the year, but it doesn’t look like the Obama administration will be any exception when it comes to government agencies trying to rush rules through before a new President occupies the White House. In an opinion editorial in the Detroit News, Charlie Owens of NFIB highlights the problem of “Midnight Regulations” and how the current administration is already starting to cut corners to meet the deadline:

“This is the kind of thing that keeps a small business owner up at night. While larger businesses often have staff dedicated to keeping up with the latest federal regulatory missives, small businesses do not and struggle to keep up with the deluge of new rules and requirements.”

January 26, 2016

Viewpoint: Work still to be done for small businessesBy Charles Owens, NFIB and Alfredo Ortiz, Job Creators Network / Lansing State Journal

To hear the President tell it via his recent State of the Union Address, everything is just fine and dandy for small business in America under his leadership. Charlie Owens with the National Federation of Independent Business and Alfredo Ortiz of Job Creators Network beg to differ. In an editorial printed in the Lansing State Journal, Owens and Oritz observe that:

“While it’s true that the top-line unemployment rate is at a historical low, so is our labor force participation rate. The reality is that Main Street is still struggling. Despite modest improvements from the depths of the Great Recession, small businesses are still operating in a purgatory between recession and recovery.”

January 26, 2016

Local Schools, Governments Suing State Over “Gag Order” Law, By Susan El Khoury WILX Channel 10 News

Groups representing local government and school leaders have filed a lawsuit against the state claiming the recent ‘gag order’ bill signed by Gov. Rick Snyder is unconstitutional. The bill in question prohibits local schools and governments from sending informational mass communications to residents in the 60 days leading up to a ballot proposal. Supporters of the law call it necessary to make sure voters have impartial information for elections.  NFIB/Michigan State Director Charlie Owens told WILX 10 that:

“They were actively promoting millage elections either by claiming all these great things that would happen if it passed or all these dire consequences if the millage proposal did not pass and they used taxpayer dollars to do that.”

January 4, 2016

Bill Requires ‘Gag Order’ For Millages, By Susan El Khoury  WILX Channel 10 News

A bill passed in the last week of 2015 that would prohibit schools and local governments from promoting millage elections with taxpayer dollars is sitting on Governor Snyder’s desk awaiting his approval. Schools and local governments claim it is a “gag order” that prevents them from educating voters on the millage proposal. However, Charlie Owens with NFIB offered a different perspective:

“The National Federation of Independent Business is pushing the governor to sign the bill. The organization’s State Director Charles Owens said in a statement ‘we think that local governments have abused public trust by using taxpayer dollars to promote tax increases through millage elections.’ Owens added that many local governments and school districts break the current law by giving more than just the facts, but many are not punished for it.”

January 1, 2016

Owens: Abuse at root of election bill, By Charlie Owens / Detroit News

On New Year’s Day, in an Opinion blog in the Detroit News, NFIB State Director Charlie Owens suggested that if local governments had not been abusing the existing law by actively promoting millage elections on the taxpayer’s dime – then there would be no need for Senate Bill 571. Owens wrote that:

“Instead of just making the public aware of an election proposal, as they claim, they have a sorry history of actively using public (taxpayer) funds to promote the passage of local tax increases. Although this is a violation of existing campaign finance laws in the state, most schools know that the $100 fine is pocket change compared to the millions of dollars they stand to gain in a local millage election.”

To view NFIB in the News stories from December 2015 and earlier go HERE

Related Content: Small Business News | Michigan

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