Gov. Snyder approves tax, regulatory reforms

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed several tax and regulatory reforms in the hopes of creating more and better jobs for Michigan families.

The new laws will encourage economic growth by reducing the Personal Property Tax burden on job providers, bringing certainty and fairness to Michigan's severance tax structure, and modernizing state regulations, the Gov. said.

"Michigan is the nation's comeback state but our work isn't done," Snyder said. "We must continually eliminate barriers to job growth by bringing greater fairness to our tax system and efficiencies to government regulations. These latest reforms will enhance Michigan's competitiveness, which means success for our workers and bright futures for our children. I appreciate the leadership of Lt. Gob. Brian Calley and our legislative partners as we keep driving Michigan forward."

Bill signed by the Governor are as follows:

Personal Property Tax:
According to the Gov., the new laws eliminate the tax on small taxpayers and phase out the tax on manufacturing personal property while protecting local units of government that rely on it.

Under the laws, a phase-out of the tax on manufacturing personal property would begin in 2016 and all manufacturing personal property will be exempt starting in 2023. Small taxpayers will be exempt from the tax starting in 2014.

According to the Gov.'s officer, the changes recognize the vital role that strong communities and schools play in Michigan's future by providing reimbursement rates to local units of 100 percent for police, fire, jail and ambulance revenue losses. It also holds schools harmless and fully covers school debt.

Severance Tax:
This six-bill package makes changes to the tax structure for mineral extraction, which the Gov. says will benefit both companies and communities.

The new tax structure will alleviate up-front coasts for mines, making it so they don't have to pay taxes until they begin extracting minerals. It includes a 2.75 percent severance tax on the gross mineral value of minerals like copper and nickel. This tax would replace the existing list of taxes with a more simplified version.

This more greatly affects areas like the Upper Peninsula, making them more attractive for business development and would allow communities to retain their share first.

Regulatory Reform:
These bills make changes to the state's workplace safety regulations to help make Michigan more inviting to job providers while still ensuring appropriate safety protections, the Gov. says.

House Bill 5922 reduces a layer of government by eliminating the General Industry Safety Standards Commission. The commissions rulemaking authority was transferred to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs director in 1006, so the commission no longer serves its original purpose. This bill would reduces government spending without being forced to compromise worker safety, the Gov. said.

The Governor is also expected to sign bills making the state more attractive to the insurance and finance industries.