State Representatives Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills) and Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak), who serve on the House Tax Policy Committee criticized the path Republicans have laid out today with the elimination of the personal property tax which would drain hundreds of millions from the state budget. House Bills 6022 and 6024-6026 passed the House today by a slim margin with all Democrats voting against the package. As passed, businesses will be exempt on all new personal property tax from local taxation as of Jan. 1, 2013.
“This entire lame duck session has just been one bill after another that is sending our state into a fiscal tailspin,” said Barnett. “This bill has no guarantee of replacement revenue for localities, which we know will directly hurt our already cash-strapped schools. This is another example of Republicans putting their corporate special interests ahead of good fiscal policy.”
Democrats called for a guarantee of replacement revenue since, according to the House Fiscal Agency, state and local governments stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, with the major impact starting in fiscal 2016. The bills aim to phase in the elimination over the course of 10 years with the intent of softening the blow. Throughout the entire lame duck process, the House Republicans have sought to ram bills through the legislature without the proper vetting, without consideration of the consequences and mistakes have been made.
“We are staring down the barrel of another budget deficit in Michigan and it’s absolutely unnecessary and wholly preventable,” said Townsend. “We cannot afford to pass any legislation that makes our cities and towns uncertain about their financial stability and we certainly can’t jeopardize our children’s future further by draining the School Aid Fund more just to please Republican donors.”