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Small business owners WIN with a YES vote on Aug. 5 to eliminate the Personal Property Tax

May 19, 2014

By Rob Fowler, President and CEO

Small Business Association of Michigan

SBAM recently announced our strong support for Michigan Citizens for Strong and Safe Communities’ campaign to help local small businesses create jobs while strengthening local community services – without raising taxes. This proposal is on the August primary ballot and we encourage you to vote YES on it.

This proposal strengthens local businesses and the communities in which they’re located. Here are two examples of how this helps small business and solves a problem for local communities:

Stromberg Carlson Products is a Traverse City-based maker of truck and RV accessories. As a third-generation family business, Stromberg Carlson owns equipment that was purchased many years ago and is still in use – and that it’s still paying personal property taxes on, every single year.

“For more than a century, Michigan businesses like mine have been paying personal property taxes on every piece of equipment every year they have owned it,” said Robert C. Brammer, Jr., president of Stromberg Carlson. “In our case, some of that equipment dates back to when my grandfather ran this business! I could have invested that money where I really wanted to – in growing my business and creating new jobs right here in Traverse City.”

The proposal on the August 5 primary ballot would immediately eliminate the personal property tax on small businesses, and phase it out over nine years for larger businesses.

Our local communities would also benefit from this proposal. Heavy reliance on the personal property tax exposes communities to severe risk when a major employer leaves. Greenville, Michigan saw its personal property tax taxable value drop by more than 50 percent when a major solar panel producer went bankrupt.

This proposal would create a more stable funding system for local community services like police, fire, ambulances, roads, schools, libraries, parks and jails – without raising taxes on anybody. It’s a win-win for Michigan’s small businesses and Michigan’s local communities. 

We encourage you to vote YES on this proposal in August and to sign up for campaign email updates today at

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