Recent, MMA-supported legislation designed to prevent local, targeted taxes on manufactured foods and beverages gained support during the first part of their journey through the Legislature. The bills would reduce the threat posed to the Michigan economy by local, targeted product taxes.
Senate Bill 583 (Senator Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford) and House Bill 4999 (Representative Rob VerHeulen, R-Walker) would prohibit local units of government from imposing an excise tax or administering any policy imposing a tax or fee, on the manufacture, distribution, or sale of food, except as otherwise provided by federal or state law.
SB 583 passed the Senate Competitiveness Committee and then passed the full Senate with a 31-5 vote. Meanwhile, the House version, HB 4999, passed out of the House Competitiveness Committee and was approved by the full House with a 101-7 vote.
“Local laws add high costs and regulations atop existing state and federal laws, severely damaging the competitiveness of Michigan manufacturers,” says Mike Johnston, MMA vice president of government affairs. “A patchwork of local laws communicates that Michigan is not a business-friendly state. That message delivers a critical blow to our ability to attract new food producers. This legislation keeps the doors open for these businesses to call Michigan home.”
MMA’s testimony also pointed to additional challenges arising from localized laws, including:
- Bringing harm to companies’ bottom line in Michigan if they are prohibited from selling the products in their own state
- Stigmatizing Michigan-made products in the minds of other states that would otherwise provide a source of revenue to the Michigan economy
The bills now move to the opposing chamber's Committee on Michigan Competitiveness where continued debate is expected soon.