With many businesses across Michigan forced to shut down for weeks on end during the pandemic, efforts are underway in Lansing to provide some help in the form of property tax relief measures, but the Michigan Chamber is concerned that the governor will veto those very bills.
The Michigan Chamber this morning has issued an urgent call for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to join the support of several bills in the Michigan House that would pave the way for nearly $1-billion in property tax relief to individuals and businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus shutdown orders.
The Chamber is concerned that the governor will veto two bills (HB 5761 and HB 5810) sponsored by Representative James Lower which passed the Michigan House unanimously and with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate that would provide almost $1 billion in property tax relief to those seriously impacted by state mandated orders to close down operations. At this juncture, they say that it is unclear whether the governor will sign those bills into law.
Dan Papineau, Director of Tax Policy and Regulatory Affairs for the Michigan Chamber says, “It should not come as a surprise to anyone that businesses forced to close or extremely limit their operations for over an entire calendar quarter have been unable to earn the necessary revenue to pay their summer property tax bill which, for some businesses, is their largest annual expense.”
The legislation gives some negatively impacted businesses and individuals an extension to pay their property tax bill without incurring penalty and interest. All the while it protects local governments, schools and state government from cash flow issues of their own.
Papineau warns, “If these bills are not enacted into law, we know that many businesses will simply not be able to pay their property tax bill and/or likely close. If this happens, local governments, schools and state government will incur significant cash flow problems.” He adds, “Schools alone could be facing a $600-$700 million-dollar cash crunch unless these bills are enacted.” The Chamber argues that while offering an estimated $1 billion in relief, the program would cost the state little to nothing to run.
Papineau reminds everyone, “Some businesses are still closed, and many are operating under limited capacity. In order to ensure the quickest economic recovery possible, avoid cash flow issues for our local governments and schools, and to help individuals who have fallen on hard times, the Governor must enact this program into law. This is the common sense, win-win-win for businesses and individuals need right now.”
The Michigan Chamber is a statewide business organization that represents approximately 5,000 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Chamber represents businesses of every size and type in all 83 counties of the state. It was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan job providers in the legislative, political and legal process. for more, you can visit online at www.michamber.com.