Michigan Chamber Applauds L. Brooks Patterson; Preparing Alternatives to SBT

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today applauded Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson for his effort to collect signatures for a statutory initiative to move up repeal of Michigan's Single Business Tax to December 31, 2007. This move would pave the way for implementation of an alternative tax system that would lower the tax burden for Michigan's job providers and create a more competitive business climate.

"Brooks Patterson is to be commended for taking the initiative to accelerate repeal of Michigan's burdensome and complicated Single Business Tax," said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Jim Barrett. "We appreciate his leadership on this issue.

"The Michigan Chamber supports repeal of the SBT, and we are already hard at work seeking out an appropriate business tax alternative," Barrett added.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is undergoing a thorough process to develop tax alternatives. This includes input from a wide range of businesses, leading tax experts from around the state, and a commitment to "model" various tax alternatives. The Michigan Chamber has contracted with Ernst & Young to assist with the modeling.

"This issue is critical to Michigan's job providers, so it's very important to seek input from a diverse range of business sectors in an open and inclusive way," said Tricia Kinley, Director of Tax Policy & Economic Development for the Michigan Chamber. "It's also critically important that any alternative we put forward is credible and on target. This is why we are making the investment to 'run the numbers.'

"Whether the SBT is repealed in 2007 or 2009 -- we want to be prepared with a well-thought-out plan," Kinley added.

The SBT repeal petition signatures must now be reviewed by the State Board of Canvassers. If the canvassers conclude there are sufficient signatures, the Legislature has 40 days to either accept or reject the statutory initiative. If they accept it, it becomes law and the governor may not veto it. If they reject it, it will go before voters on the November 2006 ballot.

"We urge the Legislature to support this effort and vote to repeal the SBT in 2007, leaving adequate time to seek out an alternative business tax. This presents a great opportunity to take positive action towards improving Michigan's business climate," Barrett concluded.

The Michigan Chamber is a statewide business organization which represents more than 6,500 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal process.

SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Tricia Kinley of Michigan Chamber of Commerce, +1-517-371-7669

Web site: http://www.michamber.com/