Personal Taxes

Michigan Senate Committee Advances Measure to Lower Enterprise, Private Revenue Taxes | State

(The Center Square) – The Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency advanced Senate Bill 768 out of committee by a 5-2 vote Wednesday afternoon.

The bill aims to provide Michigan residents and taxpayers the first state income tax reduction since 2012, when it was lowered by one-tenth of a percent. The bill proposes to return the income tax to 3.9%, which it was 14 years ago before it was raised by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

“This proposal would make Michigan more competitive, encourage job growth and be affordable to the state budget,” Mackinac Center Fiscal Policy Director James Hohman told the committee members.

If the bill becomes law, Michigan would recognize an estimated $2 billion in tax cuts, which would lower the state’s businesses tax from 6% to 3.9%. The state’s personal income tax rate would also be lowered, from 4.25% to 3.9%. Parents would receive an additional $500 per-child tax credit.

“Michigan is falling behind in tax competitiveness,” Hohman said. “Over the past year, 14 other states have reduced their tax burdens. And more are being discussed, with the Mississippi House recently voting to phase-out its state income tax, and the Indiana House considering reducing its income tax rate to 3%. This proposal would help Michigan’s competitiveness, and with it, the state would have the lowest corporate income tax in the region.”

The bill is sponsored by 16 Republican senators, including Majority Leader Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake. Testing on behalf of the bill before the committee were lead sponsor Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, and Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform. Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, who is also chair of the Senate Fiscal Committee, was among the bill’s co-sponsors.

Both noted the state’s surplus of cash from increased tax revenues and federal COVID-19 relief packages.

This surplus amounts to billions in extra cash from increased and unexpected revenue gains, which means the state can step up both its spending while at the same time lowering taxes, Hohman said.

“Michigan remains down 205,000 jobs since the pandemic began, a 4.6% decrease, the 10th worst decline among the states,” he continued. “Lowering the income tax rate is a time-tested way to improve job growth. Not only will it let residents keep more of what they earn, it provides an incentive to all businesses, not just a favored few, to add and retain jobs.”

Hohman said that the 800,000 jobs are created and lost in Michigan every year. “[S]o improving the state’s business climate by reducing tax rates will help both small and large businesses to create more jobs and reduce job losses,” he said.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. If the bill is voted out of the Senate, it will be considered by the Michigan House of Representatives.

From there, if voted upon and passed, the bill would move to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. It’s too soon to tell whether the governor would sign the bill into law or veto it.

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