House Republican Leader Matt Hall on Thursday celebrated House Republicans’ success opposing legislation to charge Michiganders sales and use taxes on additional food and drink purchases.
House Democrats had intended to hold a vote this week on the bills, which would hike taxes and impose complicated criteria for small businesses to determine what is taxed. After Hall and House Republicans called out the harmful bills, Democrats backed off and did not bring up the bills for a vote during session this week.
“House Democrats were plotting once again to raise taxes on Michiganders and small businesses,” said Hall, R-Richland Township. “When our state should be taking steps to combat the rising costs of living, Democrats and tax bureaucrats want to charge Michiganders more for food and beverages. This radical, complicated tax increase would raise prices for Michigan residents and hurt local business owners, who would get lost in a confusing maze of red tape while seeing sales go down. Instead of fixing the roads or making life more affordable for the people of Michigan, Democrats prefer to debate food and drink definitions so they can increase taxes on Michigan customers. I’ll keep working to protect Michigan taxpayers against these overreaching burdens.”
Michigan law exempts food and nonalcoholic beverages from sales and use taxes, other than prepared products intended for immediate consumption. House Bills 4377 and 4378 would impose a complex, multi-factor test for determining when prepackaged food is considered prepared. Whether a particular item is taxed would depend on how utensils or napkins are made available to customers; whether a bottled soft drink is sweetened or contains milk or juice; how much of a business’s total food sales are prepared food; and other arbitrary criteria.
“As Michigan struggles to grow, the governor just wants to slap a Band-Aid on our economy while ignoring the deep-seated problems that Democrat policies have exacerbated,” Hall said. “Our state needs to strengthen our economy by lowering our taxes and fostering a fair, reasonable regulatory environment that makes sense for Michigan workers and small businesses.”
“Speaker Tate still refuses to admit that the House is in shared power, but he’s feeling its effects as House Republicans rack up wins each time Democrats move our way. But even as Republicans secure victories, Democrats are blocking progress on the pressing issues facing Michiganders.”