On Oct. 2, the Michigan Senate took a step toward annihilating the 21.99 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax (MBT), passing two important bills and sending them to the State House. By a 26-12 vote, it approved Senate Bill 1242, which would phase out the surcharge over three years, beginning in 2009. The ruling body also approved Senate Bill 1038, which would make a series of technical corrections to the MBT, removing taxes, fees and other elements from inclusion as gross receipts. For example, the bill would prohibit the Department of Treasury from imposing the MBT on taxes retailers are required to collect from Michigan consumers.
The MBT surcharge was added late last year, enabling the state to replace the widely unpopular tax on services. But it generated outcry among businesses that have seen significant tax increases, including self-storage facilities. Eliminating the surcharge has become a primary target of Michigan business groups. Pogoda Management Co., the state’s largest operator of self-storage facilities, has been particularly active in urging fellow business owners to speak out against the surcharge.