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    In a state that relies heavily on the manufacturing sector as one of its greatest sources of revenue, Michigan manufacturers are saying that the tax burden they must bear in this state is too great. A recent study by the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) shows that on average in the state of Michigan, manufacturers pay about 29 percent more than the national average and within the state manufacturers pay roughly 45 percent more than other Michigan industries. Along with the release of this study, members of the MMA are asking Michigan to take a look at the tax system that is currently being used for businesses and manufacturers and make sure that the tax rate, especially on personal property taxes is fair and competitive to those of other businesses.

     

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    While the MMA acknowledges that these taxes bring revenue to the government, they also argue that the tax rate needs to be competitive to other states. This “heavy burden placed on the largest sector of the economy” is not fair and keeps hindering manufacturers according to the MMA’s director of government affairs, Michael Johnston. In an effort to help these manufacturers, the MMA has asked that the state, among other things, eliminate the personal property tax, eliminate parts of the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) such as the 22 percent surcharge and the tax on gross receipts, and continue tax breaks for businesses moving to Michigan in order to attract more revenue for the state.

    Governor Rick Snyder has called for an end to the aforementioned MBT and plans to replace it with a 6% flat tax that would keep some of the corporations in this state that file federal corporate income tax forms exempt from this new tax. This plan is still in debate in Lansing and has been met with some criticisms, but Johnston also argues that there needs to be reductions in the property tax to make an impact on manufacturers.

    At the same time, the leaders of the MMA understand that Michigan must be kept at a competitive level with other states and actually are calling for Snyder to keep those incentives that Michigan offers to out of state businesses. The most important thing is that other states still must be attracted to Michigan because of the competitive rates we offer. Snyder’s proposal is focused on not increasing the size of incentives to give to other businesses, but instead lowering the tax structure right here in Michigan so we can allow current businesses to prosper again. The MMA has not directly supported Snyder’s new policy, but this could be the first step in their search for more fair competition in the state of Michigan.

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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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    Policy Fellow: Marie Hallberg

    Marie Hallberg is the commerce & regulation correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network and a first-year student at Michigan State University. Currently, she is a no preference major, but is interested in either a teaching or communications degree. Marie is very excited to be attending MSU and anxious to explore the opportunities that are available to her. Marie is originally from Illinois and enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, reading, and being in band. Her career aspirations include a job focused on serving and working with people, possibly in the guest service area. She is very interested in using her experience on the Michigan Policy Network to help better her understanding of the Michigan government and how its policies ultimately affect the citizens of Michigan.