Feb 11, 2010
Business leaders back ‘two penny Jenny’ plan
Remember back in 2007 when Gov. Granholm proposed 2-percent sales tax on services as part of a plan to make-up a $3 billon shortfall, and Republicans went berserk and tagged her with the derogatory nickname, “Two-Penny Jenny?”
Well, it turns out she was right, and it was the best thing to do. Does that mean we can expect an apology from Republicans? Not likely.
Since September a group of so-called business leaders that tend to be the Republicans constituency known as “Business Leaders for Michigan” have been shopping around Lansing something known as the “Michigan Turnaround Plan.”
Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization “dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for job and economic growth. The organization is composed exclusively of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers.”
Part of their three-step 2010 Legislative Agenda includes adopting a 5.5 percent sales tax on services, reduce the sales tax we already pay on goods to the same 5.5 percent, eliminate the Michigan Business Tax surcharge (MBT) and reduce MBT gross receipts tax rate from .8 percent to .5 percent.
The Governor released her 2011 Executive Budget today, and one of the proposals is very similar to the CEO plan. This is directly from the press release:
“The proposal, which modernizes the tax structure to more adequately align with a 21st century economy, lowers the existing sales and use tax rates from 6 percent to 5.5 percent, expands the base of the sales and use taxes to include other services, eliminates the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) surcharge over two years, and reduces the gross receipts portion of the MBT over two years.”
That should be easy for the Republicans to get behind, as well as eliminate the “Two-Penny Jenny” references. Somehow, I doubt neither will happen.
The Governor wants the budget passed that takes effect on Oct. 1 done by July 1.
The Business Leaders for Michigan plan has some good stuff, but almost all of it benefits them at the cost of public employees. There is, of course, no sacrifice on their part.