A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: Except Those Sinking

August 29, 2005

From today’s Detroit Free Press:

Michigan simply can’t take a chance on business tax cuts that would put its universities, schools and other important programs at risk. The Single Business Tax supports about a quarter of the state’s general fund, and even in these hard-pressed times, that is not too much to ask of employers. Their corporate well-being depends as much as everyone else’s on having criminals locked up, future employees educated, and basic health and safety standards maintained. It is foolish to pursue tax cuts that jeopardize those basic values.

One needs to look no further than the employment figures for Michigan to understand that the state is in economic turmoil. The unemployment rate is 7 percent as of July, while the United States as a whole had a rate of 5 percent. The number of new jobs in Michigan compared to the overall U.S. economy is more telling, however. Since July of 2004, the U.S. economy has added 2.5 million jobs, while Michigan only 26,000.

Michigan must work to fix its fledgling economy, and alleviating the tax burden on corporations is a solution which requires significant attention. The Single Business Tax (SBT) is inimical to business in the state and is significantly retarding the efforts of companies to grow in the state. Worrying about the amount of public expenditures should be a secondary concern to fixing the basic economic conditions in the state.

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