Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Businesses tell lawmakers not to rush new tax

"Business" needs to tell us what programs they would slash if they insist on tax cuts. All these plans that have been presented only do half of the work- they don't tell of the consequences of their actions.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan business groups pitched varying tax plans to lawmakers Monday, but they could agree on two things.

Business taxes should be cut overall and there isn't enough time to create a new business tax in the short legislative session before year's end, they said.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who insists the new tax generate as much revenue as businesses now pay, has called for the Legislature to replace the state's main business tax before adjourning this month.

"We are very much opposed to moving any plan during lame duck," Tricia Kinley of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce told the Special Joint Committee on Economic Growth. "We don't think that's an adequate amount of time to do the homework and due diligence that's necessary."

Her comments were echoed by representatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Detroit CoC has a plan. The GR CoC has a plan. Other business groups have a plan. The check-out clerk at the grocery store has a plan.

Anyone notice who is missing from that list? Liz Boyd did.

Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said Republicans who control the Legislature have been studying the business tax issue for two years.

"Who better is positioned to deal with it than current lawmakers?" Boyd said. "If they are unwilling or do not have the courage to take this up, then we will present it to the new Legislature."

The Republicans take their orders from business only, apparently. As far as I know, they still haven't offered their ideas. Maybe they really don't have any. It might not be cowardice, it might be incompetence. Something to consider.

The tax plans proposed Monday by the three business groups have similarities to Granholm's plan, including a tax on gross receipts and a lower base rate with more businesses paying. While the governor and state Chamber of Commerce want to cut in half the state's tax on business equipment and machinery, the Grand Rapids and Detroit groups propose eliminating it entirely.

Did any of those plans indicate what should be cut? How we would balance the budget? If not, they are incomplete and shouldn't be considered, right?

Right. So easy to do half the job, isn't it. Ask the Republicans.