Sunday, August 13, 2006

GR Mayor Heartwell decries repeal of SBT

GR Mayor George Heartwell weighed in against the repeal of the SBT in Saturday's Press, with these three points:
  • In an anti-tax environment, there are only three places to draw replacement revenues once the SBT is gone: revenue sharing with cities, education and the prison system. With corrections unlikely to be touched, the money will have to come from the cities, meaning less police and fire protection, etc., and from the schools. And we know what that means.
  • The SBT is used as a way to create tax credits toward redevelopment of brownfield sites. Grand Rapids alone has such projects in development to the tune of about $600 million. Brownfield redevelopment is a big job maker, but with no more SBT revenues, Heartwell said, "It's impossible to sell credits against these projects."
  • With the SBT gone and no clear-cut plan for replacing the revenue it generates, Michigan suddenly looks even more iffy as a place for businesses to set down roots. Indeed, right after the repeal vote, Standard & Poor issued a negative outlook rating for Michigan. Wrote Heartwell:
Instability is more threatening to business than is a known, though unpopular, tax. Businesses now considering relocating to Michigan will ask: What will replace SBT? Will it work for our business? Is it better or worse than what Indiana offers? As of today I can't answer those questions, so Indiana wins. We lose.
Gov. Granholm has called the repeal an "act of cowardice" and estimated it could cost every Michigan family another $800 in taxes if the SBT revenues are replaced, and as Heartwell also fears, by cutting state aid to cities and education. Repealing the SBT at this time was a political move by the state's republican leadership and backed by the DeVos campaign, nothing more. How discouragingly sad for the people of this great state.


Anonymous Interrobanger said...

Extremely, extremely annoying.

By all accounts, Granholm was working on a plan to replace the lost revenues as part of an overall package. The SBT is not a good tax, that's for sure -- but the Republicans just blew it by pushing it through too fast.

Sounds like the legislature putting politics ahead of policy -- what kind of headaches can they create for Gov. Granholm, damn the consequences. Despicable.

Plus, you gotta love DeVos still claiming he can't tell anyone what his plan would be until he's elected governor. Let's hope it never comes to that.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Heartwell is probably correct about police and fire protection being cut across the state. Unfortunately, because of the Bush administration's budget cuts, law enforcement has already suffered compared to the increased funding we had under Clinton.

Way to go GOP. Why don't you just advertise to terrorists around the world that Michigan has the weakest law enforcement in the nation thanks to Bush and your SBT debacle.

I doubt Blackwater Security will work non gratis so that's not an option either.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Why is everyone so intent on having so much gov't? Does anyone out there realize that goverment workers are now making more income through salaries and benefits than the private enterprize is? Hello these are the poeple paying the bills for the goverment. I believe it is time for the taxpayer and SB's to keep more of what we are all working for I know me family can use the money. Isn't it finally time to shrink government down to size, and let the poeple keep more of what they earn. ps.anyone would be better than Granholm

11:18 AM  

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