Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Yes on Mich. Proposal 1

Editor‘‍s note: This version of the editorial corrects the proposal name to Proposal 1.

Proposal 1 on the Aug. 5 Michigan primary ballot would help small businesses and local governments without raising taxes. It deserves a YES vote.

Virtually everyone in public life has endorsed Proposal 1, from liberals to conservatives, from the AARP to various chambers of commerce. Yet there is real concern it may fail, largely because the ballot language is so poorly written it is nearly impossible to understand.

Proposal 1 would repeal an outmoded state tax on business equipment (misnamed the personal property tax) that has discouraged companies from buying furniture and technology, and has been an unstable source of local tax revenue.

Instead, local governments would be reimbursed from a stable share of a state tax levied on such things as hotel rooms and rental cars. In turn, the state would recapture this revenue by allowing some business tax credits to expire.

There’s no reason to vote no. Yet some voters may do so, merely because they can’t understand the plan. This would hurt virtually everyone. Michigan residents need to vote YES on Proposal 1.

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