The Michigan primary election is on August 5 and the last day to register to vote for the primary election is today. The primary election not only gives Michigan voters the opportunity to vote for the candidates within the political parties they want to run in the November general election, but this year the August 5 election also has an unusual ballot measure to vote on. Usually these are saved for the November election, when more people come out to vote. This is the only ballot proposal on the August 5 ballot and will be listed as Proposal 1.
The measure, if approved, would repeal the personal property tax (PPT) and replace the revenues local governments would lose without the PPT with a portion of the state use tax. In 2012 Governor Rick Snyder signed a new law to eliminate the personal property tax on small business, claiming it was vital for job creation in the state. Unfortunately, there was no provision for how local municipalities would make up the loss of revenue from the phased out tax. Proposal 1 would affect ten separate state senate bills currently on hold to continue phasing out the PPT. According to the Michigan state constitution, changing the tax laws require citizen approval. If Proposal 1 is defeated on August 5, then the PPT phase-out will stop.
The state use tax is a 6% tax in addition to the sales tax levied on purchases made out of state either through catalog or over the Internet. This is the tax Proposal 1 would substitute for the loss of revenue from the phased out PPT.
Senator Gretchen Whitmer has come out in opposition to Proposal 1 stating,
“Where is that shortfall going to come from? There’s a likelihood that it will come from the same groups that are applauding the fact that now it will make them whole.”
She is concerned that the loss of $300 million in revenue will create more problems for the state.
Whether registering to vote in person at the polls in August or by absentee ballot, the deadline is today. When you go to the polls you will have to provide some form of picture ID, or sign a waiver before receiving a ballot. For more information you can call the Secretary of State’s toll free number at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424). Please take a few moments of your time today and register to vote.