Thursday, February 11, 2010

Michigan Republicans Slam Budget That Cuts Business Taxes, Eliminates MBT Surcharge

Lessons in framing for Democrats: Governor Granholm just released a budget plan that all experts agree is the direction this state needs to go in to bring stability to our chronic fiscal problems. It lowers the tax rate, broadens the base, and brings strong reforms to government spending. In addition, it eliminates the MBT surcharge (that the Republicans created with their grandstanding in 2007), and it lowers taxes for businesses.

Granholm wants to cut the 22 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax in half next year and eliminate it by 2012. The state also would reduce the gross receipts tax rate, adding up to a savings of $2.6 billion for businesses over the next four years.

Business tax cuts! Just what every Republican wants, right? Well, no. Apparently not. Not if the goal is obstruction for obstruction's sake. The MRP immediately opposed the plan, and called for Mike Bishop's unpopular cuts to state employees instead.

The Michigan Republican Party immediately panned the plan, criticizing Granholm for wanting to extend the sales tax to services. Party Chairman Ron Weiser said proposals by House and Senate Republicans to cut expenses without raising taxes should be adopted instead.

Pretty sure that no one was listening to the House Republicans, so we will focus on the Senate. Besides the fact that the public is opposed to Bishop's plan, it offers nothing in the way of solid reform to our budget process or the government. As the Freep pointed out...

Measured by the same standard, the initiative Bishop announced last week is a non-event. It risks nothing politically. It is fraught with constitutional and practical hazards that make even Dillon's comprehensive overhaul look simple by comparison. And it signals only the GOP majority leader's willingness to vilify a weakened labor movement with whom his party has long been at odds.

In fact, the most notable thing about Bishop's initiative is how timid it is by comparison with bolder and more comprehensive proposals advanced by other conservative groups, including Business Leaders of Michigan, the statewide mouthpiece of corporate CEOs that succeeded Detroit Renaissance.

... it's a joke.

Business leaders would be wise to realize the Republicans are offering you nothing but more gridlock, and unworkable solutions to our problems. Act accordingly, and call your representatives to urge them towards a comprehensive solution to our budget issues.

Or, you can stick with the Michigan Republican Party and keep the MBT surcharge. Your choice.