July 15, 2014 at 1:00 am

COLUMN

Prop 1 will grow economy

Iím voting for Proposition 1 on the Aug. 5 statewide ballot because it will help grow local economies and keep our communities strong and safe.

It will also help my business. Hereís why: As the owner of a child care center, I first pay the sales tax when I buy high chairs, computers, games and other equipment. And then ó every single year ó I pay the personal property tax (PPT) again and again on that equipment.

Proposition 1 will eliminate that unfair, antiquated double-tax, which will allow me to invest that money in growing my business.

No other state in our region taxes business equipment the way Michigan does. Itís estimated that getting rid of the PPT would create up to 15,000 new jobs in Michigan and bring in $450 million in additional business investment.

But because local communities have relied on that tax revenue, finding a way to get rid of the tax while protecting communities has been a challenge.

Now, finally, there is a bipartisan solution embraced by all: Proposition 1.

Proposition 1 solves two problems ó without a tax increase:

■ It keeps in place a plan worked out by the Michigan Legislature to end the antiquated, unfair double-tax that small business owners pay on equipment.

■ It stabilizes local communities by providing dedicated funding for 100 percent of the estimated lost revenue, protecting important local services like police, fire, schools, ambulances, jails, roads and libraries.

Proposition 1 is not a tax increase for anyone. It is paid for by eliminating special corporate tax breaks and by establishing a special statewide essential services assessment paid only by manufacturers receiving a PPT reduction.

Proposition 1 is not a constitutional amendment. The proposal is on the ballot because Michigan requires voters to approve certain changes in the way taxes are distributed.

Proposition 1 provides a reliable funding source for local communities. PPT revenues have been extremely unreliable in funding the services citizens need and deserve. Proposition 1 fixes that.

Every small business owner in Michigan knows that being part of a strong, stable community is an important key to success, which is why reimbursement to communities for 100 percent of estimated lost PPT revenues is important to us.

Proposition 1 has strong support across the state from local government organizations and business groups, to firefighters and police officers. Michigan Citizens for Strong and Safe Communities, the bipartisan coalition supporting Proposition 1, includes tens of thousands of members representing police, fire, education, local government, small business, labor and farm groups.

Proposition 1 is good news for local communities and good news for local small businesses across the state.

And nobody pays more taxes. Vote yes on Proposition 1.

Jerry Grubb is owner of Wee Discover Child Care and Enrichment Center in Waterford.