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Posted on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley coming to Washtenaw County to address new tax proposal

By Ryan J. Stanton

The potential elimination of Michigan's personal property tax is the subject of a town hall meeting taking place next week near Ann Arbor.

State Rep. Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township, is inviting local small business owners, government officials and interested residents to learn more about a new proposal to overhaul the state's personal property tax at the meeting on April 30.

Ouimet has invited Lt. Gov. Brian Calley as a special guest to discuss the proposal that could reduce or totally eliminate portions of the personal property tax. Calley recently testified before a Senate committee in support of the proposal.


Brian Calley talks with reporters while campaigning with Gov. Rick Snyder near Ann Arbor in 2010.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"The Legislature's top priority is to improve Michigan's economy, so we have a duty to consider any proposal that would potentially create more jobs," Ouimet said in a statement. "I look forward to an informative night.”

The town hall event takes place at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, 1819 S. Wagner Road, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The meeting is open to the public. Attendees will be able to ask Calley questions about the proposal.

Michigan's personal property tax is a tax that businesses pay on items such as machinery, furniture and other equipment. Since some neighboring states don't levy a similar tax, some believe the tax puts Michigan at a disadvantage for retaining and attracting jobs.

Bills that would phase out portions of the tax were introduced last Tuesday. The bills would phase out the industrial equipment taxes over a 10-year period and would replace about 81 percent of the lost revenue through expiring tax credits.

In Washtenaw County alone, local governments and schools stand to lose about $43 million if the personal property tax is eliminated without providing replacement revenue.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

Tax advantages to the rich? Are you kidding me? Most people don't realize that the personal property tax is an annual tax on just about everything a business owns that it paid sales tax on already. More paperwork and less money for pay increases, benefits, vacation, and bonuses. You want to increase tax revenues? Increase the number of people working. Simple.........


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

Does the Lt Gov have yet more children that require health care mandates or was the autism coverage enough? Do any other republicans require any special mandates or special exceptions they can pass and we can pay for ?


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

Governor Snyder, Lt. Governor Calley and the collective Republicans in Lansing will not allow the loss of funds to municipalities that will result from eliminating the business tax to be replaced by any other tax on businesses. Instead, the municipalities will have to increase taxes on its citizens. With any luck, the loss of business taxes will create financial emergencies in some municipalities which will then be subjected by the governor to placement of emergency financial managers with their destructive tactics.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 9:45 p.m.

Maallen it's called attrition, no raises, less with more, and 80/20.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

John Q, Please provide the facts that "most governments" are spending LESS today than 5 years ago. And what government services are cut? Facts please.

John Q

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

Most governments are spending a lot less today than they did 5 years ago. Unlike you David, I'm not interested in seeing government services cut so that big business can get another tax break from the state. Calley and company are playing favorites at the expense of local governments.

David Bardallis

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

Again the assumption that whatever any government currently spends is the "correct" amount. The elimination of any tax does not logically imply that it "has to" be replaced with another tax. Just prioritize spending and eliminate the fluff. Unless people think there is no waste in government, in which case I... uh... advise joining the rest of us in reality world.

Jon Wax

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

this guy was hysterical on "Frasier" when he played Miles. Peace


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

In order to replace the funding generated by the rescission of this tax, won't most municipalities need to introduce an income tax on their residents? This would be yet another tax increase on individuals by the anti-tax state GOP. Combined with Calley's recent signing of an insurance mandate that could force religious employers to cover what the state mandates regardless of beliefs, I am wondering what the next step for the GOP will be? Gun control? Allowing business to hire illegal immigrants? What will be the next back flip-flop?

David Bardallis

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

There is also this crazy idea that governments could spend less money.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 11:42 a.m.

The tax is one of the many reasons businesses avoid Michigan. To replace it by eliminating special tax breaks for politically connected companies is a great idea. However, by only replacing a portion of the tax and sending the money to Lansing instead of the local government, it seems like this is yet-another power play against local governments. Replacing politically-connected companies with politically-connected cities is hardly a major improvement.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

I believe that you misunderstand the bill progressing through the state legislature. The bill will eliminate the personal property tax that businesses pay for purchased equipment and furnishings. The loss in tax income is supposed to be partly offset by eliminating certain business tax credits. You are correct that this tax abatement is a poorly shrouded effort to steal money from local governments. In some instances the loss of revenue may be enough to force an municipality into a financial emergency and allowing the governor to assign an emergency manager.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 10:48 a.m.

why does he remind of Dan Quayle.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

It's because he looks good, but when he opens his mouth nothing that makes any sense comes out.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 10:43 a.m.

The bum's rush to provide more tax advantages & riches to business; at the dear expense of retirees, teachers, schools, the poor, municipalities, public services, collective bargaining employees, Michigan's infrastructure & environment continues. More "tough decisions" to lure those struggling, reluctant businesses to our state where they can become rich & successful beyond Governor Snyder's wildest dreams. While the monarch fiddles; the serfs, vassals & peasants continue to suffer & sacrifice even more to satisfy the insatiable appetitie of the royal fiefdom.


Fri, Apr 27, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

My problem with the governor's business stimulation give-aways involves how those business tax savings are being funded. Look at the cuts to Ann Arbor police & fire safety services over thae past 5 years. Look at the cuts to Ann Arbor schools. Look at the city streets. Look at the tax on retirees, cuts to the poor & disadvantaged. The State Police have been cut to their lowest staffing levels in 25 years. State prison funding cut with 7,000 more felons on the streets than 5 years ago & more cuts coming (see proposed budget bill). On & on. Attractive state business tax structure requires that those lost revenues be replaced by cash from other sources, or by further Draconian cuts to already-gutted essential services to Michigan's citizens. The master plan is "up-front" good for business, but "up-front" bad for everyone else . . .


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

@4Bells, Why don't you open up a business?

David Bardallis

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

Yes, because taxes make us all wealthier, right?

Susie Q

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 10:48 a.m.

GO to the meeting and voice your concerns. This is a great opportunity.