August 5, 2014 at 1:00 am


Prop 1 is good for state

Despite confusing ballot language, voters supported overhauling Michigan's personal property tax

Voters put their stamp of approval on Proposal 1 Tuesday, which was a triumph for Michigan businesses. And it was yet another step in Gov. Rick Snyderís plan to improve the business climate in the state.

Proponents of Proposal 1 made every effort to get their message out: Overhauling Michiganís onerous personal property tax on businessesí equipment and machinery would benefit both employers and local communities.

Yet the opaque and confusing ballot language crafted by lawmakers made it difficult to understand. Credit the tenacity of voters for passing the proposal 69 percent to 31 percent. The proposal enjoyed broad support; even the Michigan Municipal League came around, although it had previously opposed repealing the tax because local governments feared losing needed revenue.

According to the Detroit Chamber, Prop 1 will lead to additional investment and the creation of 15,000 new jobs, among other benefits. The proposal is expected to cut personal property taxes by about $500 million a year. At the same time, local governments are promised they will be reimbursed entirely for the lost funds.

Now that voters approved Prop 1, the legislation lawmakers already passed will go into effect.

Getting rid of the tax should make Michigan more competitive and spur economic development. Voters deserve thanks for understanding that.