Sen. Huizenga sponsors bill to encourage supply chain technology investments

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mark E. Huizenga has introduced legislation to encourage investment into new supply chain technologies by treating equally all fully automated consumer goods handling systems in the state.

“This legislation would help modernize our state tax structure to help recognize advances in supply chain technology and make Michigan more competitive for these types of investments,” said Huizenga, R-Walker. “By leveling the playing field for businesses operating these state-of-the-art systems in Michigan, we can encourage large distributers to come to our state and enable our current family businesses to compete with online marketers.”

Senate Bills 956, 957 and 958 would exempt fully automated consumer goods handling systems from personal property, use and sales taxes respectively.

At a distribution facility in Eaton County, Meijer uses an advanced fully-automated technology created by Witron in which the technology itself separates, sorts, temporarily stores, recombines, and assembles onto pallets a variety of goods to be then shipped to stores across the state.

“Michigan currently has a patchwork of taxing laws for automated handling systems — granting tax exemption for some but not others,” Huizenga said. “The purchase of these systems and their parts are taxed in Michigan — putting us at a competitive disadvantage for these investments because our neighboring states don’t charge personal property tax on these upgrades.”

SBs 956-958 have been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

The bills are similar to SBs 1149, 1150 and 1153 that were pocket vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Jan. 4, 2021 without explanation. If the governor does not sign a bill within 14 days after getting it and the Legislature has adjourned to end the legislative session, the bill does not take effect and is said to have been “pocket vetoed.”

“The previous measures passed both chambers with bipartisan support, and I hope we get similar support with this effort to help businesses bring new supply chain improvements to our state,” Huizenga said.

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