When the Michigan Legislature returns to session this week, much of the focus will continue to center on the State Budget. The current fiscal year runs through September 30, 2015 and the Snyder Administration has made it a priority to finalize the 2015-16 budget not only on time, but early – ideally before summer. The Michigan Chamber is focused on two budget items in the coming weeks: prohibiting the state from paying third-party unclaimed property auditors based on incentive-based, contingency payment arrangements and eliminating the wasteful and ineffective $50 million film subsidy.
Job providers who are subjected to unclaimed property, or traditional tax audits, should feel confident that they are receiving fair and impartial audits. Unfortunately, if an auditor is being paid more money based on more property or transactions that are added to the assessment roll, there is an inherent cloud of distrust that hangs over any audit. Chamber members have consistently stated that if Michigan wants to send a positive message about how it treats taxpayers, and holders of unclaimed property, they would ban this payment arrangement outright. The Chamber is actively seeking budget and legislative reforms to accomplish this goal.
Chamber staff also continue to advocate for full elimination of the $50 million film subsidy boondoggle. After $500 million spent on this costly program, Michigan has almost nothing to show for it. The State will never keep up with the demands of out-of-state Hollywood executives who have no loyalty to our state and our residents. Under the leadership of Speaker Kevin Cotter, the Michigan House is already taking steps to end this ineffective giveaway and use taxpayer dollars more effectively. Unfortunately, the Michigan Senate has yet to act in a meaningful way on this issue to demonstrate to Michigan taxpayers that they are serious about using every tax dollar in the most effective way possible. We urge Chamber members to contact Senate members and press them to get rid of this wasteful program. Send an Action Alert to your State Senator today!