Brandenburg named ‘Legislator of the Year’

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LANSING? State Sen. Jack Brandenburg on Tuesday received the Michigan Manufacturers Association “Legislator of the Year” award.

“I accept this award with sincere gratitude toward Michigan’s manufacturing industry, the true backbone of our state’s economy,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “Michigan is home to some of the hardest working people in the world, and I am proud of the rebound the industry has experienced in recent years.”

Brandenburg, chair of Senate Finance Committee, put jobs at the top of his list and is now being honored for his accomplishments and hard work on this issue that plagued Michigan for far too long.

“Michigan is in the midst of a comeback. Unemployment is down from a 15 percent high to 8percent, the lowest it’s been since 2008 and it continues to fall,” said Brandenburg-Harrison Township. The Wall Street Journal reported that Michigan’s comeback is stronger than any other state in the nation and the state ranked fourth in the nation for corporate expansions in 2012.

“Jobs and getting people back to work remain my top priority. However, there is still much work to be done. This award has only made me want to work harder for the people of Michigan.”

“Senator Jack Brandenburg achieved what many thought was an impossible task, moving personal property tax legislation from Committee to the Senate in just three weeks,” said MMA President & CEO Chuck Hadden. “Senator Brandenburg is a great champion for the state of Michigan and each and every manufacturer who resides here. We are tremendously thankful for his great leadership and proud to award him the 2012 MMA Manufacturing Legislator of the Year.”

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Brandenburg, LaFontaine sponsor legislation to increase dredging loans

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Brandenburg, LaFontaine sponsor legislation to increase dredging loans

LANSING­­ Legislation that would create a partnership between marina owners, private lenders and the state to assist in emergency dredging was introduced in the Michigan Senate on Thursday, said sponsor Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

Senate Bill 252 would create a loan program that would enable marinas to pay a low interest rate on loans for emergency dredging projects.

“Our waterways are not only beautiful, they are also a vital part of our economy, which is why this measure is necessary,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township.

State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine introduced companion legislation House Bill 4410,  in the state House.

“Poorly maintained waterways are affecting commerce and tourism in cities across our state,” said LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township. “The legislation will help job providers make the necessary improvements in a cost-effective way to ensure all Michigan residents and tourists can enjoy the Great Lakes this summer.”

Both Brandenburg and LaFontaine agree that the revenue generated by boating is far too important to the state’s economy for action not be taken on dredging.

In 2012, there were 922,856 registered recreational boats in Michigan. This ranks Michigan 3rd in the nation behind Florida and Minnesota.

According to a 2007 study by Michigan State University, boating has a $3.9 million impact and represents 52,000 jobs.  A similar study done by MSU in 2010 found that the direct economic impact on a local economy of a single marina with 455 slips is: 38 jobs, $1 million in income and $1.6 million in value added to the economy.

Some highlights of the bill are:

·Lenders will take the credit risk, lending private dollars, and make the final decision on the loan amount up to the cap based on their risk exposure/tolerance;

·There will be a $500,000 cap on loans to individual marinas; and

·Loans will be for five years.

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Michigan recognized by Site Selection magazine

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Michigan recognized by Site Selection magazine

LANSING—Site Selection magazine has named Michigan the No. 4 state for major new corporate facilities and expansions in 2012, said state Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

“This is just one of the many accolades that Michigan has received over the last two years,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “More and more companies are choosing to call Michigan home, which is proof that bold reforms that were put in place are working and helping to move our state forward.”

Site Selection,
a global business publication, verified 337 projects in Michigan that met capital investment, job-creation or size standards as part of its annual Governor’s Cup ranking. This year, Michigan finished behind first-place Texas, second-place Ohio and third-place Pennsylvania. Rounding out the top 10 were Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

Site Selection awards the Governor’s Cup each year to the governor of the state with the highest number of qualified capital investment projects the previous calendar year. The publication’s proprietary New Plant database is populated with private-sector projects that meet one or more of these criteria: an investment of at least $1 million, creation of 50 or more new jobs or construction of new space of at least 20,000 square feet.

A few examples of new corporate projects located in Michigan are MAHLE (Farmington Hills), Brose (New Boston, Auburn Hills and Warren), Dart Container’s headquarters expansion (Mason) and Hark Orchids’ new propagation facility (Kalamazoo), the company’s first global expansion outside of Germany.

“Businesses around the world are recognizing that Michigan is open for business,” Brandenburg said. “I look forward to continued prosperity as our economic climate continues to improve.”

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Brandenburg thrilled with Supreme Court appointment

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Brandenburg thrilled with Supreme Court appointment

LANSING— Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday announced the appointment of Judge David Viviano of Sterling Heights to the Michigan Supreme Court.

“The governor really hit this one out of the park.  A home run pick,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township.

Viviano was elected to the Macomb County Circuit Court in 2006 and currently serves as the court’s chief judge.  Prior to serving on the Circuit Court, he was in private practice at various firms.

“I have known Judge Viviano for some time now, and I have no doubt he is the right man for the job,” Brandenburg said. “He has a distinguished record of judicial integrity. He is unbiased and dedicated to the law and I am certain he will make an outstanding justice for years to come. 

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***PHOTO ADVISORY*** Brandenburg supports bills to maintain Michigan’s waterways

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***PHOTO ADVISORY***
Brandenburg supports bills to maintain Michigan’s waterways

LANSING—Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, and Seante colleagues announced at a press conference on Tuesday that the Senate will begin to work to ensure that Michigan’s ports and waterways will be consistently and properly maintained in order to protect both natural resources and economic activity.

“Currently, we are facing historically low water levels and a lack of dredging in Michigan harbors by the federal government,” Brandenburg said. “This is impacting the health of our waterways as well as our economy. Currently, the Senate is working on a plan of action to address short- and long-term solutions to the problems facing our waterways.”

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Brandenburg: Michigan’s waterways are a priority

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Brandenburg: Michigan’s waterways are a priority

LANSING— Sen Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, announced Tuesday that Michigan’s ports and waterways must be consistently and properly maintained in order to protect both natural resources and economic activity.

Brandenburg and several other senators addressed the problems facing Michigan’s waterways this morning at a press conference at the Capitol.

The problems facing our waterways needs to be addressed immediately and a long-term plan to maintain them needs to be developed,” Brandenburg said. “A dredging plan is being developed that will allow Michigan harbors, ports and waterways to be accessible and sustainable for commercials as well as recreational use.”

Brandenburg that funding options to full meet this need and changes to state law are necessary to address this issue.

“There are multiple ways to address this issue,” Brandenburg said “I look forward to studying the various proposals and hearing what experts have to say on this important matter.”

 

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Brandenburg named to Infrastructure Modernization Committee

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Brandenburg named to Infrastructure Modernization Committee

LANSING— State Sen. Jack Brandenburg has been named to a new standing committee that will address Gov. Snyder’s road funding proposal.

“It is clear that roads in Michigan need to be improved,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “What is not yet clear is how the problem should be addressed. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to consider many different solutions to this complicated problem.”

The nine transportation funding bills that have been referred to the Appropriations Committee will be re-referred to the Infrastructure Modernization Committee.

“Everyone on this committee has different skill sets and experience to bring to the table,” Brandenburg said. “It will be hard work; there are many concerns which need to be addressed and questions that need to be answered. However, I look forward to taking on this important issue.” 

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Brandenburg and Hansen to lead Legislative Waterways Caucus

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Brandenburg and Hansen to lead Legislative Waterways Caucus

LANSING―State Sens. Goeff Hansen and Jack Brandenburg announced today that they will co-chair the new Legislative Waterways Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers who have agreed to work together to address issues of importance to the Great Lakes.

Hansen, R-Hart, said the caucus will be a forum for a variety of Great Lakes concerns, such as invasive species, Asian carp, low lake levels, tourism and recreation.

“As co-chair of the Legislative Waterways Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues on issues affecting our most treasured natural jewel,” Hansen said. “Michigan has an abundance of natural resources, and our waterways are a key part of the lifestyle, tourism industry and local economy of many Great Lakes coastal communities.”

Hansen said the caucus is ready to tackle the many challenges facing the Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland rivers and streams, and they look forward to working with colleagues from both parties and both chambers to help preserve Michigan’s waterways for generations.

Ultimate success will also require the cooperation of the administration, he said.

“I applaud the governor for his most recent commitment to working with us to devise a long-term, state-based solution on the issue of harbor dredging. He will be an important ally in our efforts,” Hansen said. “I am confident this caucus will find solutions to the dredging problem.”

Co-chair Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, said he is eager to get started.

“There are glaring problems with Michigan’s waterways, and I am excited to start working toward solutions and tackling some of these issues,” Brandenburg said.

State Reps. Al Pscholka and Charles Brunner are the caucus co-chairs in the House. 

“This caucus will address critical issues facing Michigan’s waterways from dredging in recreational harbors to promoting boating and tourism opportunities in our state,” said Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and across the aisle to discuss these issues in a bipartisan fashion to promote Michigan’s waterways.”

 

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Brandenburg on board with changes to tax code

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Brandenburg on board with changes to tax code

LANSING–Legislation that would boost industry while lessening the tax burden on Michigan residents was approved by the Senate Finance Committee, said chairman state Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

“This is a tax break that everyone stands to benefit from,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “It will serve as a shot in the arm for two of our state’s major industries while lessening the tax burden on residents.”

Senate Bills 89 and 90 would amend the Sales and Use Tax Act to exclude taxation on trade-in values of used cars and boats when the trade-in value is being applied to a new or used car or boat. The package creates a ten-year phase-in for the program.

Starting June 1, 2013, only ten percent of the agreed upon value will be exempt; and this amount will increase by ten percent each year until 2022 when it reaches 100 percent. After that, the entire value of the trade-in may be exempt.

“Michigan is one of only six states and the only Great Lakes state that taxes trade-in values,” Brandenburg said. “This puts Michigan at a major competitive disadvantage. I want to make Michigan as competitive as possible.” 

SBs 89 and 90 now advance to the full Senate for consideration.

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**PHOTO ADVISORY**Personal Property Tax reform signed into law

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Personal Property Tax reform signed into law

 

LANSING— State Sen. Jack Brandenburg (right), R-Harrison Township joined Gov. Rick Snyder (seated) and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (third from left) on Thursday for the signing of the Personal Property Tax reform bills.

The new laws will encourage economic growth by reducing the Personal Property Tax burden on job providers.

“Michigan continues to make progress and send a message to the world that we are open for business,” Brandenburg said. “We are the nation’s comeback state, and I look forward to continue working to create an environment that encourages businesses to grow.”

Brandenburg was the sponsor of Senate Bill 1065 and a cosponsor of the rest of the package. 

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MEDIA REMINDER: Senators Rocca, Brandenburg to present special tribute to state champion Dakota High School volleyball team

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What:
Senators Tory Rocca and Jack Brandenburg will present a tribute to the Dakota High School volleyball team for winning the state volleyball championship.

Who:
* Senator Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights;
* Senator Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township;
* Dakota High School volleyball team and coaches; and
* Macomb County School Board.

When:
Monday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Where:
Chippewa Valley Schools Administration Building
19120 Cass Ave.
Clinton Township, MI

Brief:
In November, the Dakota High School volleyball team won its first Class A state championship over perennial volleyball powerhouse Temperance Bedford High. At the beginning of the Macomb County Board of Education meeting, Rocca and Brandenburg will present the team and coaches with a special tribute honoring their achievement.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Senators Rocca, Brandenburg to present special tribute to state champion Dakota High School volleyball team

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What:
Senators Tory Rocca and Jack Brandenburg will present a tribute to the Dakota High School volleyball team for winning the state volleyball championship.

Who:
* Senator Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights;
* Senator Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township;
* Dakota High School volleyball team and coaches; and
* Macomb County School Board.

When:
Monday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Where:
Chippewa Valley Schools Administration Building
19120 Cass Ave.
Clinton Township, MI

Brief:
In November, the Dakota High School volleyball team won its first Class A state championship over perennial volleyball powerhouse Temperance Bedford High. At the beginning of the Macomb County Board of Education meeting, Rocca and Brandenburg will present the team and coaches with a special tribute honoring their achievement.

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Michigan unemployment continues to decline

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Michigan unemployment continues to decline

Lansing­–Michigan’s unemployment rate has continued its downward trend, coming in at 8.3 percent in April.

That’s compared to 8.5 percent in March and 10.5 percent in April 2011, according to data released on Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

“This is more good news for Michigan and for our state’s economy,” said state Sen. Brandenburg R-Harrison Township. “We are continuing to see steady declines in the jobless rate, and I look forward to continued, consistent progress for Michigan.”

 

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PPT reform approved by Michigan Senate

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PPT reform approved by Michigan Senate

LANSING— Legislation that would reduce the personal property tax for Michigan businesses was approved by the Michigan Senate Thursday, said sponsor state Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

“This is a major step in the right direction for Michigan businesses,” said Brandenburg R-Harrison Township. “During my campaign, I promised to do everything in my power to create jobs and foster an environment that would attract new business and allow current companies to expand. Personal property tax reform does just that.”

This eight-bill package would alter the personal property tax in the following ways:
• Effective Dec. 31, 2012 any commercial or industrial business that have personal property valued at $40,000  or less will not pay taxes and will not file a return. This would eliminate 75-80 percent of returns that currently need to be filed.
• Effective Dec. 31, 2015 all eligible industrial personal property bought after Dec. 31, 2011 will not be taxable.
• Effective Dec. 31, 2015 any eligible personal property that is 10 years old will no longer be taxed. This will continue each year until all property is tax exempt.

Brandenburg sponsored Senate Bills 1065 and 1072 and co-sponsored the rest of the package.

“According to a study by Anderson Economic Group reforming Michigan’s personal property tax structure would create between 6 thousand and 15 thousand jobs,” Brandenburg said. “As I have said before, this package will create jobs and it will help move Michigan forward.  I want Michigan to be a business model for the rest of the country, and I believe this legislation is critical to moving Michigan forward.

SBs 1065-1072 now advance to the Michigan House of Representatives.
 

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Senate panel approves personal property tax reform

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Senate panel approves personal property tax reform

Lansing— Legislation that would reduce the personal property tax for Michigan businesses was approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday said, Chairman Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

“First off, I would like to thank everyone who came to testify before the committee,” said Brandenburg R-Harrison Township. “Some people made multiple trips to Lansing in order to listen and offer testimony and the committee is better informed because of their efforts.”

This eight-bill package would alter the personal property tax in the following ways:
• Effective Dec. 31, 2012 any commercial or industrial business that have personal property valued at $40,000  or less will not pay taxes and will not file a return. This would eliminate 75-80% of returns that currently need to be filed.
• Effective Dec. 31, 2015 all eligible industrial personal property bought after December 31, 2011 will not be taxable.
• Effective Dec. 31, 2015 any eligible personal property that is 10 years old will no longer be taxed. This will continue each year until all property is tax exempt.

Brandenburg is sponsor of Senate Bills 1065 and 1072 and will co-sponsor the rest of the package.

“When job providers are able to grow and provide jobs, everyone is better off,” Brandenburg said. “A growing vibrant economy can solve many of the problems that our state is facing. This package will attract new businesses to Michigan and will allow new companies to expand as they see fit.”

SBs 1065-1072 now advance to the full Senate for consideration.

 

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Anderson Economic Group: PPT repeal would create jobs

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Anderson Economic Group: PPT repeal would create jobs

LANSING— Reforming Michigan’s personal property tax (PPT) structure would create between 6 thousand and 15 thousand jobs, according to a study released by Anderson Economic Group (AEG) on Wednesday. 

When combined with the new corporation income tax (CIT) and the elimination of individual income tax exemptions, the job growth rises to 19 thousand to 46 thousand jobs.

“If I had to sum up the findings of this study in one word, it would be ‘fantastic,’” said State Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “The more people working the better off our state will be. I have been working very hard on the PPT bills, and the findings of this study will only make me work harder.”

The eight-bill PPT package is currently in the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Brandenburg.

The AEG study also reported that due to increased business activity and other “dynamic effects” state and local revenues could increase by $155.3 million by 2015 and $384 million by 2025.

The study also predicts between $190 million and $450 million in business investments and between $430 million and $1 billion in business consumption.

“Michigan and Indiana are the only Great Lakes states that tax manufacturing equipment, putting Michigan at a serious competitive disadvantage,” Brandenburg said.

The report was commissioned by the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA). It concludes that the proposed reforms of the PPT would exempt around 60 percent of commercial and industrial parcels from the PPT starting in 2013. All eligible manufacturing personal property would be exempt by 2022.   

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Michigan registers largest jobless rate decline

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Michigan registers largest jobless rate decline

Lansing— Michigan and Alabama registered the largest jobless rate decreases from March 2011 to March 2012 by both registering drops of 2 percentage points, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today.

“Slowly but surely we are chipping away at the unemployment rate,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “At one point, Michigan had the highest unemployment rate in the country; we are now tied for 14th. I am looking forward to continued progress for Michigan, and I am confident that our unemployment rate will continue to decline due to the actions taken by the Legislature in the past 16 months.”

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Michigan unemployment continues to drop

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Michigan unemployment continues to drop

LANSING— Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly four years in March when the state recorded an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent, state officials said Wednesday.

The March rate of 8.5 percent was 0.3 percentage point lower than the February rate of 8.8 percent, and it was a full percentage points lower than the March 2011 rate of 10.5 percent, said officials with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

And the total number of people reported being without work fell to 397,000, down 12,000 from February and down 96,000 from March 2011.

The unemployment rate also fell to 9.4 percent in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia market from 9.8 percent in February. In March 2011, the local unemployment rate stood at 11.7 percent.

“This is more good news for Michigan,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “The reforms that the Legislature put in place are having consistent positive effects across Michigan. We still have a ways to go, but the end result will be a more effective and efficient Michigan.”

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Personal property tax hearings begin in Senate Finance Committee

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Personal property tax hearings begin in Senate Finance Committee

LANSING— The Senate Finance Committee held the first of what will be many hearings on Personal Property Tax (PPT) reform on Wednesday, said Chairman Jack Brandenburg. 

“I was happy to see such a large group of people attend our first hearing,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “We heard testimony both in support of and in opposition to business PPT reform; and many different ideas were shared. I look forward to more discussion in the coming weeks and months.”

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley was the first person to testify before the committee and laid out why business PPT reform is necessary. He also gave a breakdown of the key components of the legislation.

“I would like to thank the lieutenant governor for taking the time to attend the committee meeting and for taking a leadership role on business PPT reform,” said Brandenburg.

Those who testified in opposition to business PPT were concerned about how revenue lost by local units of government would be replaced.

Senate Bill 1072, sponsored by Brandenburg, addresses the problem of how revenue will be replaced. Under the measure, beginning in 2016, the Department of Treasury is required to prepare an estimate for each category of political subdivision (e.g. counties, cities, townships,) of revenue lost in that fiscal year as a result of the proposed exemptions.

Brandenburg’s legislation also instructs the legislature to send at minimum the amount recommended by the Treasury department to each governmental entity. The Legislature may then allocate any additional funds they see fit.

“Many of the changes in this package of legislation do not take place effect until 2016, which is when the MEGA and battery tax credits expire,” said Brandenburg. “The expiration of these credits will mean that the state will be receiving more tax dollars. A portion of the increased tax revenue will be placed in a fund to help replace personal property tax revenue; local officials will then decide how the money should be distributed.”

“This is a complex piece of legislation with lots of moving parts, which is why we plan to have multiple hearings,” said Brandenburg. “However, I firmly believe that once business PPT reform is put into place Michigan will benefit from a better business environment, leading to increased investment and economic activity, a growing tax base and more jobs.”

 

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Personal property tax reform headed to Senate Finance Committee

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Personal property tax reform headed to Senate Finance Committee

LANSING— Legislation that would reduce the personal property tax for Michigan businesses is bound for the Senate Finance Committee, said sponsor Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

This 8 bill package would alter the personal property tax in the following ways:

• Effective December 31, 2012 any commercial or industrial business that have personal property valued at $40,000  or less will not pay taxes and will not file a return. This would eliminate 75-80% of returns that currently need to be filed.

• Effective December 31, 2015 all eligible industrial personal property bought after December 31, 2011 will not be taxable.

• Effective December 31, 2015 any personal property that is ten years old will no longer be taxed. This will continue each year until all property is tax exempt.

Brandenburg is sponsor of SBs 1065 and 1072 and will be co-sponsoring the rest of the package.

“I have been working with my colleagues on this legislation since it was just an idea in a room,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “However, the hard work still lies ahead of us. The next few months will be filled with more meetings, committee hearing and gathering input from as many people as possible. I am confident that all of our hard work will pay off, I am looking forward to rolling my sleeves up and continuing to be one of the leaders on helping to pass this critical legislation” 

“This is a major step in the right direction toward long term prosperity for Michigan businesses,” said Brandenburg. “Businesses owners already had to pay taxes on the property when they bought it the first time; there is no reason they should have to pay a second tax.”

“It is important to understand that these bills do not cut businesses tax at the expense of taxpayers, but rather this legislation takes aim at businesses tax credits. Many of the changes in this package of legislation do not take place effect until 2016, which is when the MEGA and battery tax credits expire, said Brandenburg” The expiration of these credits will mean that the state will be receiving more tax dollars. A portion of the increased tax revenue will be placed in a fund to help replace personal property tax revenue; local officials will then decide how the money should be distributed.

“I know Michigan has the potential to be a model for the rest of the country as long as the right system is put in place. Over the past 16 months, many positive steps have been taken in order to create jobs and improve the business climate in Michigan personal property tax reform is yet another common sense positive step in the right direction.”                                 

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