For Immediate Release:
May 12, 2015

Contact: Bob Schneider
or Eric Lupher


CRC Updates the Outline of the Michigan Tax System

On May 5, Michigan voters rejected Proposal 15-1, a ballot initiative that would have altered the state’s tax landscape by increasing the state’s sales tax and motor fuel tax rates in an effort to address road infrastructure needs. The public debate on the ballot measure highlighted the often complex structure of Michigan’s tax system and the need for a good information source for citizens who want to learn more about it.

To this end, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) has updated its most popular report, the Outline of the Michigan Tax System. This report, which serves as a handy resource for many, provides a concise and accessible summary of Michigan taxes and captures all of the changes made to the state and local tax picture since the last update in April 2014.

State policymakers made a number of significant tax policy changes during 2014. In addition to enacting the transportation-related legislation tied to Proposal 15-1, lawmakers also enacted legislation to finish the work started in 2012 on bringing personal property tax (PPT) relief for Michigan businesses, including legislation that earmarks a portion of the state’s use tax to reimburse local governments for PPT-related revenue losses. Policymakers also enacted so-called “mainstreet fairness” legislation designed to reverse the loss of sales and use tax revenue due to the growing popularity of Internet purchases and to level the tax playing field between local brick-and-mortar retailers and out-of-state e-vendors.   The year also saw the creation of one new tax: a specific tax on certain hydroponic and aquaculture production facilities that will be paid in lieu of general property taxes.

“With the creation of the new hydroponic and aquaculture specific tax, Michigan now has 60 taxes that the state (38) and local (22) governments are authorized to levy,” reports Bob Schneider, CRC’s Director of State Affairs.

For each tax contained in the Tax Outline, readers can find information on its legal authority, rate, base, administration, and the amount of revenue it raises. The Tax Outline also contains helpful links to official sources for additional details.

In addition to tracking the details of each tax’s rate and base, the Tax Outline tracks tax revenues from year to year. Of note, after declining for five consecutive years through 2012 due to declining property values caused by the housing crisis, local general property tax revenues have now increased for two straight years and sit at $11.2 billion for 2014. Conversely, state tax revenue declined for the first time since 2010, with FY2014 revenues totaling just over $26.0 billion.

The Tax Outline is available at no cost on the Citizens Research Council’s website,

Founded in 1916, CRC works to improve government in Michigan. The organization provides factual, unbiased, independent information concerning significant issues of state and local government organization, policy, and finance. By delivery of this information to policymakers and citizens, CRC aims to ensure sound and rational public policy formation in Michigan. For more information, visit

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