Small Business for Michigan

Small Business for Michigan is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that supports public policies and programs aimed at improving Michigan’s small business economy, business climate and employment opportunities. It promotes, encourages and advocates citizen participation in political and civic events, governmental events and associated activities.

Champion

The recognized thought leader in advocacy efforts for small business.

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The protector over the integrity of small business and everything small business stands for.

Authenticity

The trusted source for supporters about issues(s) that affect small business.


News

Thursday, August 7

New SBAM survey finds small business owners continue to boost hiring

Nearly a third of small business owners in a recent Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) “Barometer” survey said they hired more workers in the past six months. That’s up from three years ago when only 12 percent said they increased hiring. Thirty-seven percent plan to hire more employees in the coming six months (compared to 29 percent in June 2013.)

Thirty-four percent of small business owners plan to increase wages in the next six months.

“This is vivid evidence that small business owners are responding to a much improved tax and regulatory climate in the state by increasing hiring, creating jobs and boosting wages,” says SBAM’s Vice President Communications Michael Rogers.

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In other survey results, small business owners said that over the previous six months:

  • Forty-five percent said sales had increased (compared to 42 percent in December 2013.)
  • Thirty percent said profits had increased (up from 29 percent in December 2013.)

Looking forward over the next six months:

  • Sixty-two percent said they expect sales to increase (compared to 48 percent in December 2013.)
  • Fifty percent said they expect profits to increase (compared to 36 percent in December 2013.)

Continuing a trend, small business owners expressed concern about access to qualified personnel. Thirty-two percent said access was “only fair,” compared to 33 percent in December 2013. Forty-one percent said access was “pretty good,” compared to 38 percent in December 2013.

Six hundred eleven small business owners were interviewed in late spring for this round of the Barometer survey.

Wednesday, July 30

PROPOSAL 1 HELPS MICHIGAN’S LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES, SAVING $507M IN TAX AND COMPLIANCE COSTS

53,000 Michigan small businesses get $76M tax cut and save about $1200 each in tax and accounting costs this year

Michigan’s local small businesses are already on their way to saving $507 million in tax and compliance costs, savings that will be confirmed with the passage of Proposal 1 on the August 5th statewide primary ballot, according to a new study by the Anderson Economic Group (AEG).

“Tens of thousands of local small businesses across the state began saving this year when the legislature eliminated their Personal Property Tax, getting rid of an unfair, antiquated double tax on their businesses,” said Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan and president of Small Business for Michigan. “A ‘yes’ vote on Proposal 1 will not only protect those savings but will also make sure communities across the state are reimbursed for that lost PPT revenue. The best part about Proposal 1 is that it does all of that without raising anyone’s taxes.

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This study not only confirms the tax savings for small business: $76 million,” said Fowler, “but actually quantifies the tax and compliance cost savings for small business – averaging another $1200 in savings per business per year. That’s a big deal to small business owners and will definitely mean more jobs on the horizon.”

Small Business for Michigan commissioned the AEG study in June to determine how Proposal 1 would impact local small businesses. The analysis includes an exhaustive review of multiple state and local taxes, along with both new and existing statutes, and constitutional tax limits and voting requirements; as well as two rounds of reviews with outside experts from a variety of institutions. AEG previously studied the personal property tax in 1999, 2006, and 2012.

“The personal property tax has been a job-killer in Michigan for decades,” said Patrick L. Anderson, the lead author of the study. “Proposal 1 has already eliminated the PPT for 53,000 small businesses, and will sharply reduce costs for manufacturers and many high-tech employers in Michigan.”

The failure of Proposal 1 could have immediate and dire consequences, with local small businesses and manufacturers once again paying the unfair double tax on equipment and leaving communities reliant on an unstable, unpredictable and unreliable source of funding.

“It is clear that reforming the personal property tax would dramatically improve Michigan’s business climate,” Anderson said, noting that many states no longer impose a personal property tax. “We would no longer be losing manufacturing employers to states like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota due to this outdated tax. Proposal 1 locks in the tax cut for small businesses that went into effect this year.”

The AEG report also found that by 2017, local governments would be fully reimbursed for any lost personal property tax revenue. The need to reimburse local governments that relied heavily on the PPT has been a sticking point in previous efforts to reform this tax, and Proposal 1 has a workable mechanism to do so.

The AEG report, co-authored by Alex Rosaen and Jason Horwitz, also noted: “The state legislature explicitly stated in statute its commitment to replace any state revenue lost due to reimbursing local government with expiring business tax credits.” The report found that once the reforms are fully phased in, new state revenue would include an additional $40-94M due to increased economic activity in the state.

Finally, the report confirmed that passage of Proposal 1 would lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs across the state –without increasing anyone’s taxes.

The 61-page report includes detailed fiscal and economic estimates, discussion of various tax changes and reimbursement revenue streams, as well as constitutional and implementation issues, and a set of appendices with additional information. It is available on the Anderson Economic Group website at: www.AndersonEconomicGroup.com.

A selection of the report’s findings is below:

  • Michigan’s personal property tax has long been considered a barrier to business activity because it discourages investment and has high compliance costs for both business and government. Proposal 14-1 would substantially reduce the personal property tax burdens on small businesses, and on owners of eligible manufacturing personal property.
  • In 2014, the passage of Proposal 14-1 would maintain a $76 million tax reduction for small businesses. By 2020, the tax reduction would extend to owners of eligible manufacturing personal property and would total $372 million. Once fully phased in by 2025, these tax changes would result in $203 million to $474 million in additional business investment and up to 11,700 more private-sector jobs in the state.
  • The state legislature explicitly stated in statute its commitment to replace any state revenue lost due to reimbursing local government with expiring business tax credits. Municipal governments as a group would not see significant changes, as payments would exceed PPT revenue losses. Once the reforms are fully phased in, new state revenue would also include an additional $40-94M due to increased economic activity in the state.
  • Consistent with the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution, the vote on Proposal 1 properly allows “local” voters the chance to approve the portion of the existing state use tax that would be made into a local use tax by Proposal 1. Furthermore, this use tax, which consumers pay on certain transactions, would remain subject to the existing 6 percent limit.

Thursday, April 24

New public campaign spotlights how business tax reform has benefited the state’s economy

Small Business for Michigan April 24 launched a public information campaign designed to remind the state’s citizens that the overhaul of Michigan’s business tax code has allowed small businesses to thrive and create jobs. “This communications effort is designed to help counter the misinformation and outright lies that have been spread about the impact of business tax reform,” said Small Business for Michigan President Rob Fowler. “There has been a false narrative out there that big corporations got a $1.8 billion tax cut under Gov. Snyder. That’s simply not true – it was small businesses, mostly family-owned and community-centered, that were the beneficiaries of these positive business tax changes.”

The Keep Michigan Growing campaign points out that since business tax reform was enacted, small business owners have created thousands of new jobs, there are nearly 175,000 fewer unemployed and Michigan’s economy is more competitive than ever before.

The Keep Michigan Growing website has tools to allow people to share the small business growth message on social networks and sign a petition to thank lawmakers for simplifying the tax code and helping Michigan grow. The campaign’s Twitter feed is @keepMIgrowing. Its Facebook page is facebook.com/keepmichigangrowing.

Thursday, April 17

New nonprofit aims to help improve Michigan’s small business climate

A new 501(c)(4) nonprofit called Small Business for Michigan was launched today in Lansing. Small Business for Michigan supports public policies and programs aimed at improving Michigan’s small business economy, business climate and employment opportunities. It promotes, encourages and advocates citizen participation in political and civic events, governmental events and associated activities.

“Our goal is to collect funding from a broad group of supporters that are interested in helping to change the small business narrative and pursue public policy goals on behalf of small business owners,” says Small Business for Michigan President Rob Fowler.

More information about Small Business for Michigan is available at smallbusinessformichigan.org and at facebook.com/smallbusinessformichigan.


Advocacy

“Small Business for Michigan represents a broad group of supporters that are interested in helping to change the small business narrative and pursue public policy goals on behalf of small business owners.” Rob Fowler, President, Small Business for Michigan.

Small Business for Michigan is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that supports public policies and programs aimed at improving Michigan’s small business economy, business climate and employment opportunities. It promotes, encourages and advocates citizen participation in political and civic events, governmental events and associated activities. Small Business for Michigan is advocating for small business issues in Michigan.

Small Business Advocacy Issues that Small Business for Michigan is currently fighting for:

#1 Personal Property Tax Exemption

The PPT Exemption will appear as a Michigan Ballot Proposal during the statewide August 5th Primary Election. Although legislation has been passed, it must be approved by a statewide vote due to the reallocation of the Michigan use tax revenue to the new Metropolitan Authority. We are working to ensure that the PPT Exemption remains in place for Michigan Small Businesses.

This PPT reallocation requires approval by a statewide vote per the Michigan Constitution. Further, the entire personal property tax reform package is contingent on and tie-barred to voter approval of the use tax reallocation. A Yes Vote is critical to keep the PPT exemption or it will be lost effective January 1, 2014.

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A Yes vote will:

  • End the unfair double tax on small businesses.
  • Help Michigan small businesses grow without increasing or altering their personal taxes.
  • Create more good Michigan jobs by eliminating a direct disincentive for Michigan small businesses to invest in new equipment and works.
  • Make Michigan more competitive, which will help local communities attract more businesses and create more local jobs.

We encourage small businesses across Michigan to share the importance of a YES vote in August on the PPT Ballot Proposal.

For more information on the PPT Exemption click here.

PPT Exemption 2013 Legislation

Under the PPT exemption approved in 2013, businesses that own, lease or possess commercial and industrial personal property with a market value of less than $80,000 may eliminate their 2014 PPT bill. To be eligible, businesses must have filed the MI Treasury Form 5076 (Affidavit of Owner of Eligible Personal Property Claiming Exemption from Collection of Taxes) by Feb. 10, 2014.

Lawmakers approved the exemption in 2012 because the PPT in effect double-taxes businesses on equipment such as computers, vehicles, desks and machinery, and is a disincentive to invest in Michigan. The exemption took effect Dec. 31, 2013 for the 2014 tax year.

No other state in the country taxes equipment as unfairly as Michigan, putting us at a competitive disadvantage. This opportunity to eliminate the tax makes good economic sense for business owners such as you across our state.

2014 PPT Exemption Legislation Improvements

In March 2014 Governor Snyder signed the first of a series of bipartisan bills that provide more stable local government revenue for essential services (including police and fire protection) as the obsolete, job-killing personal property tax (PPT) is phased out.

The legislation would create an “essential services assessment,” for companies that would go toward supporting things like police and fire operations in the cities where they operate.

The other major change in the legislation would increase the amount of the state’s 6% use taxes on out-of-state purchases that will be transferred from Michigan to local governments. That loss of revenue to the state from use taxes would be made up, in part, by a windfall the state will receive when a number of tax credits given in past years are set to expire in 2015 and beyond.

#2 Minimum Wage Business Realities

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Myths About the Minimum Wage:

Raising the minimum wage is a proven way to stimulate the economy.

Fact:Empirical research has found no link between a higher minimum wage and economic growth. In fact, a higher minimum wage reduces output in certain industries with a higher concentration of less-skilled employees. See the study.

Most recent studies find that raising the minimum wage does not reduce employment.

Fact:A summary of the last two decades of research from economists at the University of California-Irvine and the Federal Reserve Board found that 85 percent of the most credible studies on the minimum wage point to job loss for less-skilled employees. See the study.

Raising the minimum wage will reduce poverty.

Fact:Twenty-eight states raised their minimum wage between 2003 and 2007, in an attempt to reduce poverty rates. Yet research from economists at Cornell and American University found no associated reduction in poverty. See the study.

Most minimum wage earners are living in poverty. Fact: Census Bureau data show that the average family income of a beneficiary from the last federal minimum wage increase was over $47,000 a year.

Additional Minimum Wage Resources:

The Effect of $10.10 an Hour on Michigan

Disappearing Jobs Video

Minimum Wage is a Dead End

Visit www.minimumwage.comto learn more


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