Friday, January 26, 2007

You must be THIS tall to ride- MI GOP steps up, but comes up short

Credit where credit is due. The Senate Republicans finally released a plan for replacing the SBT, unfortunately they still refused to do the heavy lifting on identifying cuts.

LANSING -- Senate Republicans offered a tax plan Thursday that would give businesses a $290-million break compared to the current Single Business Tax, which expires Dec. 31.

Through a spokeswoman, Gov. Jennifer Granholm immediately dismissed the plan, saying a new tax must replace all $1.9 billion the SBT generates.

The Senate GOP plan, which is expected to generate about $1.5 billion, would impose a mix of fees and taxes on business profits and gross receipts. Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, said it would encourage new businesses and he called for quick action.

Right. You guys screw around for over two years and you want "quick action".

Liz Boyd had some quick action for the Republicans- she said "Thanks for playing!" and offered them some lovely parting gifts.

"We're already facing a billion-dollar shortfall this year and next," retorted Liz Boyd, Granholm's spokeswoman. "Who will pay for this tax cut? Who will shoulder the burden?"

As usual, they couldn't or wouldn't say.

Bishop and Cassis weren't yet able to detail how they'd come up with the $290 million in lost revenue that Cassis' plan would cause. But they insisted it's possible to further squeeze state spending, despite a looming $1.3 billion in projected deficits that lawmakers and Granholm already have to erase for the 2007 and 2008 budget years.

"We have to find ways for government to be more efficient, more streamlined," Bishop said.

And those are?

Pubs want to cut now, deal with the hard issues later.

Bishop said he wants to avoid turning the SBT's replacement into a cash cow, so its passage should come before lawmakers consider closing that budget gap.

Um... no. But it is encouraging to see them finally taking an active interest in the process. Better than just sitting there and doing nothing.

It's a start.