Canada is apparently becoming an attractive place to do business. This week Burger King announced plans to move its headquarters to Canada, via a merger with Tim Hortons. Other U.S. companies that have recently moved or...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- More Bad Tax Policy from Michigan
More Bad Tax Policy from Michigan
Michigan lawmakers, already busy attempting to replace the revenue from the $2 billion a year Single Business Tax (SBT) scheduled to be repealed at the end of the year, are currently scrambling to plug an alleged $800 million budget deficit.
Their focus is currently on raising the state's individual income tax from 3.9 percent of adjusted gross income to a rate somewhere around 4.5 percent.
From the WOOD NBC 8 Grand Rapids:
The Democrat-controlled state House could vote as early as Thursday on whether to raise the state's income tax. One version would boost the current income tax rate of 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent. Yet another version, this one formally introduced in the House, calls for temporarily raising the income tax to 4.6 percent.
Michigan's individual income tax is the 12th best in the country according to our 2007 State Business Tax Climate Index, and helps moderate Michigan's overall business tax climate which ranks 27th overall. A higher income tax rate would drop Michigan's ranking and make it a less business-friendly state.
Raising the state's income tax would not only hurt the state's business tax climate and raise its tax burden, but it would also provide more incentive for people to leave Michigan. Michigan is one of only five states to have lost population between 2005 and 2006, and only two states lost people at a faster pace, Rhode Island and Louisiana, according to the Census Bureau. Louisiana at least has the excuse that it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Michigan can ill afford to create more incentives for people to flee the state. Even temporary tax hikes to close the deficit will drive people away, and temporary tax increases often end up being permanent. Just ask the taxpayers of North Carolina, where temporary hikes in the income and sales tax passed in 2001 that were supposed to expire in 2003 are still in effect. North Carolina's tax burden has risen rapidly since the "temporary" hikes were instituted.
Michigan could do its taxpayers and businesses a favor by avoiding tax hikes to close the budget deficit and focus their attention on cutting spending. There might not be enough revenue to buy all Michigan kids an iPod, but even with less revenue there should be enough money to bury the dead.
Subscribe to the Tax Foundation Newsletter
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official weblog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.