City leaders meet to support Michigan's Proposal 1 - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

City leaders meet to support Michigan's Proposal 1

A large group of supporters, including St. Joseph Mayor Michael Garey, Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower, local public safety officers, and business owners, asked voters to vote yes on Proposal 1 on the August 5 ballot.  They say it would eliminate the "double tax" on local small businesses, and stabilize local communities by dedicating 100 percent reimbursement of the estimated revenue lost from the Personal Property Tax for police, fire, ambulances, jails, schools, roads, libraries and other community services.

Owner of Harbor Town Interiors Stephanie Grill says Proposal 1 would put Michigan on more of an even playing field to its neighboring states.  "It is going to make us more competitive with the bordering states," Grill said, "because they don't have to do it.  When a small business pays for a piece of equipment, they pay tax on it and they continue to pay a tax every year that they own it."  She compared it to a home owner buying a sofa and continuing to have to pay tax on it every year you own it.

Benton Harbor Mayor, James Hightower said it can be frustrating when businesses don't want to come to his town because of the personal property tax.  "It is definitely a problem," Hightower said, "because when you say businesses you are speaking of jobs and that is personal income as well.  We are in the business of building our communities and adding value and so with this, I believe it is going to put us in a better position to do that."

Everyone agreed the passing of Proposal 1 would help in budget planning, because they would have a consistent revenue source that can be planned on.
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