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87834893There’s one question on the August ballot that Detroit Free Press is ready to support wholeheartedly: Proposal 1, which allows for the phaseout half of Michigan’s personal property tax on business and commercial equipment.

Voters may find Prop 1 complicated. It is.

They may think Prop 1 raises taxes. It doesn’t.

Proposal 1 eliminates the personal property tax for many businesses, without a tax increase on Michigan residents, and guarantees that municipalities will have a revenue source to replace that tax.

If you value municipal services — such as libraries, police and fire departments, schools and road maintenance — it’s clear that Michiganders should vote yes on Proposal 1.

There’s no apparent opposition to Prop 1, but because the ballot language isn’t user-friendly, proponents of the proposal fear that some voters might default to “no,” believing it’s a new tax — or skip voting on the proposal entirely.

Ultimately, if voters don’t approve Prop 1, the personal property tax will go back into effect, along with the bureaucratic mess it causes businesses and cities.

Reforming Michigan’s tax policy, making the state more attractive to business owners, has been one of Gov. Rick Snyder’s top priorities. We haven’t always agreed with his decisions, but on this one, we’re all in. Municipalities need steady funding; both businesses and municipalities need less overhead in the taxation process.

Take the time to read the ballot language, and information about the tax replacement, and vote yes on Aug. 5.


Find out more in The Free Press

Editorial says Vote yes on Proposal 1 was originally published on

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