Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder / Detroit Free Press file photo
LANSING (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Gov. Rick Snyder was joined by Republican lawmakers, business leaders and local officials today as he signed into law three packages of bills he said will help boost the state's economy.
The bills Snyder signed at a ceremony in Lansing will phase out, over 10 years, the personal property tax manufacturers pay on industrial equipment; streamline regulations on issues such as worker safety; and change the way mining is taxed in Michigan.
In 2011, Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature eliminated the Michigan Business Tax, replacing it with a 6% corporate tax paid only by companies that issue shares.
Snyder described the MBT as the dumbest tax in the state and on Thursday said the industrial piece of the personal property tax was the second dumbest.
Getting rid of it was difficult because local governments receive hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenues from the tax. The Michigan Municipal League and two other local government associations shifted their positions from opposed to neutral during the Legislature's lame-duck session last week after lawmakers said the phase-out will not go ahead unless voters approve a 2014 ballot question related to replacement revenue.
"It was a huge challenge, but this is the administration that took it on," said Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly, who supports the change despite the fact 17% of Dearborn's property tax revenue comes from personal property tax.
Charlie Pryde, a government affairs director at Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, said the tax was "a penalty on investment."
It's phase-out "will make Michigan more competitive for manufacturing and Ford Motor Co. more competitive in the intensely competitive automotive manufacturing marketplace," Pryde said
Detroit Free Press