The pro-Proposal 1 campaign enters the home stretch

Aug 2, 2014

A statewide campaign to convince Michiganders to vote to end the personal property tax is coming to a close.

Dan Machnik (left) with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce voices support for Proposal One on the August 5th ballot.
Dan Machnik (left) with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce voices support for Proposal One on the August 5th ballot.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Proposal 1 on next Tuesday’s ballot is an awkwardly worded question that if approved will be the final step in scrapping the PPT. The PPT is levied on business and manufacturing equipment, even if that equipment was purchased long ago. 

Business associations have poured some $8 million into the campaign.  Various municipal and government employee groups have lined up, often literally, to show their support for Proposal 1.

For the past few weeks, local leaders in small towns across Michigan, from Traverse City to Flint, have held news conference to express their support for Prop 1. That campaign swing came through Jackson on Friday, when business and civic leaders joined city firefighters to urge passage of Proposal 1.

Dan Machnik is with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce. He says the decades-old tax discourages business investment.

“Businesses that have hesitated to invest in capital improvements … capital equipment that's needed to streamline their operations … that puts a halt on hiring,” says Machnik.

Repealing the tax will cost local governments much-needed tax revenue.

The state government is supposed to make up the difference if the personal property tax is done away with.

But that has raised concerns among some local officials.  They don’t trust the legislature to make sure all the money is replaced.