Updates from Feb. 10 MBA Newsletter

Lansing Highlights

This week’s big story out of Lansing is Governor Whitmer’s FY23 budget proposal. We can expect significant back-and-forth between state lawmakers and the Governor’s office before all is said and done with the FY23 budget. You can view the annual timeline here, from the Senate Fiscal Agency.

However, our state Legislature is still working on plenty of legislation that has the potential to impact business. Here’s a rundown:

Unemployment reform package of bills:  This is a package of eight bills that would reform practices of the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, aimed at increasing transparency and more streamlined customer services. Included in the package is HB 5528, which prohibits the UIA from charging an improperly paid benefit to an employer’s account.

The package has been approved in the House, and is awaiting discussion in the Senate Committee on Economic and Small Business Development.

Fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic has cost the state’s unemployment insurance agency an estimated $8.5 billion. In related news, Governor Whitmer’s FY23 budget proposal includes funding to replace the software utilized by the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Tax cuts for business: SB 768, introduced in early December and approved (with a substitute) by the Senate Finance Committee in late January, would reduce the corporate income tax rate from 6.0% to 3.9%. The total tax cut is estimated at about $2 billion. Of course, the bill still needs approval from the full Senate and House, and the Governor’s signature. A provision of the bill that also decreases personal income tax from 4.25% to 3.9%, and provides a $500 non-refundable credit for each dependent under age 19 sweetens the pot for lawmakers who might otherwise oppose. It is uncertain when the next action on the bill is expected.

Funding for businesses most significantly impacted by COVID: HB 5524 has already passed the full House, and now moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The bill would provide $186 million total in funding to businesses such as gyms, fitness centers, theaters, CVBs, etc., plus would waive fees to the Liquor Control Commission and some specific licensing fees.

PPT exemption deadline extension:  Did your business miss the filing deadline in 2021 for personal property tax exemption, due to COVID-19? A package of bills (SB 805, 806, and 807)under consideration in the Senate Finance Committee is seeking to provide a one-time extension of this deadline.

You’re in Good Company

As a small business owner, there’s plenty to keep you awake at night. Are they valid concerns? Probably so! The Small Business Association of Michigan recently released results of a January survey that sought to identify small business owners’ greatest concerns. You can see the results here. This kind of data can help drive public policy that benefits the business community. Of course, we always welcome your input, as well. You may contact Diane Middleton, Vice President of Advocacy, at dmiddleton@mbami.org, with concerns that could help to inform our work in the public policy space.

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