Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Solution to Michigan's tax ills?

Michigan has one of the worst tax systems in the country. We also have one of the highest tax burdens in the United States. Businesses and families are not encouraged to locate here as a result. The latest actions in Lansing regarding tax policy have only made matters worse. It is time for radical but commonsense change. It is time for the Michigan Fair Tax.

What is The MI-Fair Tax?

The Michigan Fair Tax (MFT) is a fair, no-loophole retail sales tax imposed on all NEW goods and services.  It will eliminate the Michigan Business Tax (MBT), The Personal Property Tax that businesses pay, the 6-mil state education tax, the sales tax on all business-to-business transactions and the State Personal Income Tax, which has just been raised to 4.35%. Most importantly, the MFT removes virtually all business taxes AND the need for you to file a tax return on April 15. Further, the MFT:
  • Is completely transparent, easy to calculate and virtually impossible to evade

  • Eliminates the need of businesses and individuals to spend millions in compliance costs (tax accountants and attorneys)

  • Will make Michigan much more competitive with other states and invite investment by business

  • Will provide a much more stable revenue source and will provide adequate revenues to run state government

  • Only taxes residents on purchases, not on earnings or investments

  • Will exempt citizens who are below the poverty line by rebating them for the first $10,000 or so of expenditures per household member

Some would ask, doesn't this shift the burden of taxation from businesses to individuals? The answer is, business don't really pay taxes, they pass that added cost of business on to the customer in the form of higher retail prices. When businesses see their taxes eliminated, their costs will go down leading to lower prices.

Another advantage of the MFT is that it will greatly reduce the cost of government and simplify the collection process. There is as much as $2 billion in uncollected taxes today because of unreported transactions and underground economy.  Those who live and work in Michigan illegally are not filing tax forms. The MFT fixes that problem permanently.
A side benefit to the MFT is that much of the tax revenue coming into the state will be paid by non-residents as they come here to vacation.
Michigan has, arguably, one of the most complex, confusing and difficult-to-comply-with tax codes in the nation.  We are driving business away from this state, in part, because of our tax policies.  The MFT, although not perfect, will go a long way toward making Michigan the most attractive state to live and work in the United States. As we face growing shortfalls in revenue and an economy stuck in reverse, this is the perfect time to enact the Michigan Fair Tax.
(You can read more about the MI-Fair Tax, and its sponsor, Representative Fulton Sheen here.)

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