Local attorney questions Personal Property Tax elimination benefit
Patrick Center March 6, 2014 | WGVU The Michigan Senate is guaranteeing legislation it passed this week would guarantee 100 percent reimbursement to local governments.
“It’s impossible to predict how these replacement funds are going to come about because it looks to me like there’s just some shifting of funds around and someone might end up with the short straw. We just don’t know who.”
The Personal Property Tax pays for items like police, fire and schools. The concern is the state could lose $300 million dollars the first year. Andrea Crumbak is a property tax attorney with Grand Rapids law firm Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones.
“In some ways this reminds me of the situation that came about as a result of the lottery where all of a sudden the state was saying we would have replacement funds for the schools but in the end you see the long term effects of that never really seem to give the schools more money.”
Crumback explains that's an issue for local governments depending on the Personal Property Tax. She says although the legislature has made revue projections locating money through other sources including a use tax and an essential services assessment on some businesses there’s a concern this isn’t a workable plan.
“These projections are not always accurate. The other factor that we’re facing is because of the bad economy local units have already felt the strain of lost real property tax revenue because property values have gone down and then Proposal A prevents those taxable values on those properties from going back up.”
Although a majority of legislators are calling the personal property tax phase out a win-win relieving businesses of a burdensome tax and making the state more attractive to manufacturers. Voters will have a say on PPT reform on the August ballot.
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