As the extension to complete the Fiscal Year budget looms ahead (now only 10 days away), the legislature is faced with more decisions on taxing.
One proposal, found in HB 5386, is a 3% tax to physicians licensed to engage in the practice of medicine or osteopathic medicine and surgery. The tax would equal 3% of each physician's gross receipts. The implications of the proposed tax would reportedly generate an estimated $300 million in revenue for FY 2010..
This proposal has been under a very heated debate from many citizens across Michigan. Yesterday, over 700 doctors marched at the capitol in protest of this tax. Those who are opposed to the tax say that this would increase the likelihood of our state losing even more doctors, and feel that this would be a burden on their incomes.
Those who are in favor of this proposed tax say that the alternative option is too heavy of cut to Medicaid. The more money raised by the state, the better off we are, and at such a small rate they feel that it would be beneficial to majority of Michigan's citizens.
House Bill 5386 passed in the House by four votes, 56-52, and now awaits decision in the state Senate. As a republican majority, the Senate is not likely to be very fond of this proposal, and we may not see a 3% tax put on our physicians. The time for a solution in Michigan is fast approaching, and both sides of the legislature are going to have to make some compromises soon.