Small Business Establishes Main Street Agenda

The perennial attempt to place a sales tax on service businesses in Michigan is just one of many issues that small businesses across the state will pay close attention to and advocate either for or against each issue as it comes up. One of the state’s leading small business organizations, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has released its “Main Street Agenda” for the 2017 Legislative session, and a sales tax on services is on the list.

The newly minted agenda shares the organization’s list of top priorities for the coming legislative session with an emphasis on continuing the progress toward improving Michigan’s small business economic and business climate.

Charlie Owens is Michigan State Director for the NFIB. He says, “Michigan has come a long way and is once again a great state to bring a business, grow a business or start a new business.” He adds, “However, there is still work to be done and there are challenges on the horizon that must be addressed if we are to continue on the path to prosperity and opportunity for our citizens.”

Owens says that priority one for small business is to continue to work on Michigan’s overall economy and avoid the temptations to drift back toward targeted tax policy that seeks to reward specific companies or industries at the expense of others. He notes, “We have seen the damage that this kind of policy has done to our budgets in the last few years when the bill has come due for the bad targeted tax policy of the previous administration.” He adds, “We will be asking our members to weigh in on the current proposals that seek to address obstacles to development presented by brownfield properties.”

Suggestions of expanding the sales tax to services is another concern voiced by Owens. He says that subject was reintroduced during a recent Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference by somebody in the room. He says, “This is the kind of tax policy that could undo the hard work it has taken to make Michigan a success story, and it should be avoided.”

On the subject of House and Senate proposals to repeal the state Income Tax, Owens said that this would also be an issue that would be decided by the members, noting, “In the past, efforts to eliminate the income tax have been tied to increases in other taxes to make up for the decrease in revenue to the state. While there have been no such proposals tied to the current efforts, our members are aware of the reality of balancing the state budget.”

Owens says, “NFIB members will be given the details of the various proposals and then they will vote on whether to support them or not. Our members determine our position on policy issues.”

The group also wants to halt the taxing of health insurance claims, reform Michigan’s costly no-fault auto insurance system and repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, among other issues. Click this link to see the full agenda from the NFIB in Michigan: