September 12, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report

Business tax, "bad driver" tax & more "shadow government"

Senate Bill 156, Reverse effect of Supreme Court business tax ruling: Passed 34 to 3 in the Senate

To clarify the intent of provisions in the Michigan Business Tax enacted in 2007, so as to reverse the effect of a recent state Supreme Court ruling (IBM v. Treasury) that reportedly would force the state to refund more than $1 billion to many companies headquartered outside this state. The case involved the interaction of MBT provisions with a separate multistate Tax Compact entered in 2006. (The MBT was repealed in 2011 but is still in effect for certain companies awarded state subsidies and tax breaks under its provisions).

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Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 633, Allow community service to cover some “bad driver” fees: Passed 110 to 0 in the House

To allow a person to do 10 hours of “community service” in lieu of paying a state “bad driver fee” for certain offences, including driving without a license and failing to have or produce proof of insurance. The fees for these particular offences were repealed by a 2011 law, so the bill would apply only to individuals who incurred and failed to pay them in the past. These very high, revenue-raising fees were originally imposed in 2003 to avoid spending cuts in that year’s and subsequent state government budgets. A law enacted earlier in 2014 would gradually phase out the fees imposed for additional offenses.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 758, Authorize more stringent sanctions for delinquent hotel tax: Passed 97 to 13 in the House

To empower counties that choose to impose a tax of up to 5 percent on hotel and motel room charges to enforce the tax with the more stringent sanctions authorized for delinquent “special assessment” levies, which include forfeiture and foreclosure. Under current law, a delinquent owner is liable for a penalty of 25 percent of the amount in arrears plus interest, and up to 90 days in jail.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

House Bill 4783, Expand a corporate/developer subsidy regime: Passed 83 to 27 in the House

To authorize creation of a seventh “Next Michigan Development Corporation,” which is a government agency that gives tax breaks and subsidies to particular corporations or developers selected by political appointees on the entity's board, for projects meeting extremely broad "multi-modal commerce" criteria (basically, any form of goods-related commerce). Reportedly the new entity will probably be in Detroit. In December, 2013 the legislature enacted a law authorizing a sixth such entity, this in the Upper Peninsula.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

Senate Bill 156, Reverse effect of Supreme Court business tax ruling: Passed 100 to 10 in the House

The House vote on the bill described above.

Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.