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Lawmakers, Biz Owners Debate Snyder’s Tax Plan

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LANSING (WWJ) – Debate over Governor Rick Snyder’s controversial budget continues in Lansing, on the eve of an expected full vote on the plan in the state Senate.

The first speaker to testify, Wednesday, was business owner, Charlie Owens, who supports Gov. Snyder’s plan to kill the Michigan Business Tax.

“The bottom line, for our members and for small business in the state, is that the Michigan Business Tax was no improvement over the Single Business Tax it replaced, and for most businesses it is worse.  You know you’re in trouble when you have businesses pining to bring back the Single Business Tax,” Owens said.

Owens said the Michigan Business Tax imposes a double tax on many small businesses.

Also speaking Wednesday was Nancy Marr, president of Prime Housing Group, who told lawmakers how the Michigan Business Tax has affected her business.

“Our SBT burden was about $20,000 in 2006. In 2008, when it went to the MBT, it went up to $60,000. In 2009, it was $48,000. We ended up laying off an employee and we aren’t in a position to hire somebody back for that position, because at $40,000 to $60,000-a-year, that’s an employee,” Marr said.

Marr said her parents, who started the business, would prefer to pay a tax on pensions.

Even though the package has apparently stalled in a Senate committee, WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said Governor Snyder can get around that roadblock in time for a vote Thursday.

“The Governor probably doesn’t have the votes on this Senate committee to pass it to the floor. But he doesn’t need them, because they could discharge the committee on the Senate floor to set up the showdown for tomorrow,” he said.

Skubick said Senate Republican leader Randy Richardville of Monroe maintains that he has the votes necessary to pass the Governor’s business tax, which also includes that controversial pension tax on retirees under the age of 67.

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