Fourteen months ago, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation eliminating the state personal property tax levied on business equipment. The move was heralded as welcome change by business owners who said the tax put them at a competitive disadvantage and inhibited job growth. However, local governments are worried about how they will replace the revenue that kept their vital services running. Now, a series of bills introduced this week in the Michigan Senate seeks to preserve that funding.
Michigan’s personal property tax was a thorn in the side of businesses, particularly small companies, for decades. It had been around for more than a century before the phase out began in 2012. It was viewed as an antiquated system, but more practically, it was bringing in less and less revenue in the last few years. Now, there are ten separate bills in the state Senate that sponsors say will completely replace the personal property tax revenue.