Feb 11, 2007
The businesses that have gotten away for years without paying for the public services they consume are up in arms over Gov. Granholm’s proposed 2-percent tax on services, and they are using the lame excuse that the tax is extremely complicated for businesses and consumers with increased paperwork, according to an article in the Detroit News business section Friday.
But at lest one group, the 884-member Independent Accountants Association of Michigan, says the tax is needed and won't be too much hassle.
As part of a plan to make-up a $3 billon shortfall in the state budget without even deeper cuts in essential services that residents depend on, the Governor proposed her budget that calls for a combination of spending cuts and a 2 percent levy on services. For the average family that will mean an increase of about $65 a year, or a cup of coffee a week. But business groups like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the State Bar of Michigan are opposing the investment in the state’s future because for the first time many of their members will be taxed.
They are obviously ignoring the fact we are moving from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy, and they are only worried about protecting their bottom line at the expense of the rest of the state. Some of the reasoning they are floating for opposing the tax that calls for 2 cents on the dollar is laughable.
Henry Cooney, president of the Metro Detroit Bar Association, is quoted in the article as basically saying attorney’s fess are so expensive they should not be taxed. "A legal service is not discretionary. When you have to hire an attorney for a divorce or a bankruptcy, it's unfair to ask your client to pay tax on top of a service that is not inexpensive."
Many groups, including the Michigan Institute of Laundering & Drycleaning, will inform members the cost will be "much higher," said Kelly Johnston, the institute's director of government relations. It doesn’t really matter if it’s not true.
But this is perhaps the most ludicrous excuse so far:
The cost increase will cause customers to think twice, said John Lieberman, owner of the Bark Busters Home Dog Training franchise in Oakland County. "It increases the effective price of our service, and it's a disincentive for people to have their dogs trained."
With basic dog training starting at $495, the sales tax would add at least $10 to his services, Lieberman said. "If you're providing a premium service that costs more to begin with, people need to build a case that it's worth the extra cost."
If you can afford to pay $495 to have someone else train your pooch for you then I seriously doubt $10 is going to break the bank. Maybe we can call it the Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears tax because if we enact it they will not be able to carry those little French Poodles into nightclubs and premiers with them.
The Michigan Chamber Commerce - that represents more than 7,000 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce in the state – is obviously against the tax. Has this group ever endorsed a Democrat? This group is perhaps the biggest hypocrites of all. They are in the process of lobbying state Legislators for a business tax reduction of $500 million. Where to make that up? This farsighted group is saying cut it from education. Great idea. Not.
They are also advocating a 3-cent increase in the gas tax. Apparently they do not represent gas stations.