As delayed Tax Day 2021 arrives, it brings with it the newest update of the Citizens Research Council’s Outline of the Michigan Tax System
As some Michigan residents wrap up work on their tax returns, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan continues its own Tax Day tradition: the release of its annual update of the Outline of the Michigan Tax System. This year’s update represents the 37th edition of this popular publication, which has served policymakers, journalists, researchers, and citizens alike as a ready reference to Michigan’s often complicated tax structure as well as to how those tax dollars are used.
The 2021 update includes a comprehensive summary for three new state taxes tied to sports betting, Internet gaming, and fantasy sports contests. Authorized in 2019, in-person sports betting at Detroit’s three casinos launched in March 2020, just before the casinos and sporting events were shut down by the pandemic.
Internet sports betting and Internet gaming options were authorized to begin in January 2021. The three Detroit casinos and nine tribal casinos now offer some form of Internet sports betting or gaming. Michigan levies an 8.4 percent tax on casino sports wagering adjusted receipts, while Internet gaming is subject to a marginal tax rate that starts at 20 percent and gradually rises to 28 percent once a casino’s adjusted receipts reach $12 million.
While 2020 was largely a quiet year on the tax front, there were other tax policy changes of note. Legislation enacted last year increased vehicle registration transfer fees, but also reversed a 2019 policy change that significantly increased those transfer costs for many purchasers of new and used vehicles. New legislation also re-established an historic preservation credit against the state income tax for rehabilitation expenditures on certain historic buildings, structures, and sites.
Updated for these recent changes, the Tax Outline also continues to provide detailed but accessible background on the tax system as a whole, covering 41 different state taxes and another 23 taxes levied at the local level.
How much is the state tax on a pack of cigarettes? What items are exempt from Michigan’s sales tax? What is the average millage rate assessed by local units of government across the state? Readers will find the answers in the Tax Outline.
“The Citizens Research Council has been publishing the Tax Outline for more than half a century now,” said Research Council President Eric Lupher. “It’s easily our most downloaded publication, and we believe compiling and sharing this information does two very important things. One, it keeps Michigan’s citizens informed about the taxes they pay. And just as importantly, it promotes accountability for their elected officials.”
The new Outline of the Michigan Tax System, as well as an archive of prior versions dating back to 1997 can be accessed on the Research’s Councils website at https://crcmich.org/tax-outline.