Posts Tagged ‘Taxes’

We all win by voting “YES” on Proposal 1!

Proposal 1 will make sure 100 percent of the estimated lost revenue will be reimbursed to communities when the Personal Property Tax (PPT) is eliminated.

Eliminating the PPT is expected to create up to 15,000 jobs and increase business investment by $450 million.

As you know, Proposal 1 would end the unfair and antiquated double tax (also known as the personal property tax) small businesses pay every year on the equipment they already own, while stabilizing funding for police, fire, jails, roads, schools, senior services and other important municipal services.

Business Leaders for Michigan recently produced a short, simple video explaining how Proposal 1 would benefit all of Michigan. Watch the new video here:

The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce urges you to vote Yes on Proposal 1. Please share this information with your voting friends and acquaintances.



Update to previous alert from July 26, 2013: Federal agencies release proposed rule on 90-day waiting period limitation

On Feb. 20, the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly released both the final rule and proposed rule on 90-day waiting periods.

The final rule on waiting periods applies to plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015. For the 2014 plan year, compliance is based on the proposed rule from 2013, which states that group health plans (including grandfathered, non-grandfathered and self-funded plans) and group health insurance coverage issuers cannot apply a waiting period that exceeds 90 days.

The final rule maintains that eligibility conditions that are not based solely on the passage of time are generally acceptable unless designed to avoid compliance with the 90-day waiting period limitation.

  • If a group health plan conditions eligibility for health care on an employee regularly working a specified number of hours per period (or working full time), and it cannot be determined that a newly hired employee is reasonably expected to meet the required number of hours (or work full time), the health plan may take a reasonable period of time to determine whether the employee meets the plan’s eligibility conditions. A time period designed to determine whether such an employee meets the plan’s eligibility conditions is considered compliant with the 90-day waiting period limitation if coverage is made effective no later than 13 months from the employee’s start date plus, if the employee’s start date is not the first day of a calendar month, the time remaining until the first day of the next calendar month.

Health insurance issuers may rely on the eligibility information reported by employers (or other plan sponsors) and will not be considered in violation of the 90-day waiting period limitation if:

  • Issuers require plan sponsors to make a representation regarding the terms of any eligibility conditions or waiting periods imposed by plan sponsors before an individual is eligible to become covered under the terms of the plan (and requires plan sponsors to update this representation with any applicable changes); and
  • Issuers have no specific knowledge of the imposition of a waiting period that would exceed the permitted 90-day period.

All calendar days are counted beginning on the eligibility date, including weekends and holidays. Employee coverage must begin on or before the 91st day of eligibility.

Proposed rule on waiting periods and orientation periods
The proposed rule on orientation periods may be relied on for the 2014 plan year.

The proposed rule, issued in conjunction with the final 90-day waiting period rule, allows for a “reasonable and bona fide” employment-based orientation period of no more than one month.

During this time the employer and employee can evaluate whether the employment situation is satisfactory, and standard orientation and training processes begin.

The Proposed Rule may be relied on throughout 2014 and if a final rule is more restrictive, reasonable time for compliance will be provided.

More information can be found at:

*Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is not responsible for the content or practices of the destination website.
The information in this document is based on preliminary review of the national health care reform legislation and is not intended to impart legal advice. The federal government continues to issue guidance on how the provisions of national health reform should be interpreted and applied. The impact of these reforms on individual situations may vary. This overview is intended as an educational tool only and does not replace a more rigorous review of the law’s applicability to individual circumstances and attendant legal counsel and should not be relied upon as legal or compliance advice. As required by US Treasury Regulations, we also inform you that any tax information contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.

The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce is proud to support Michigan Citizens for Strong and Safe Communities’ campaign to protect local community services and help small businesses create jobs – without increasing taxes for anyone.

This important proposal will be on the August 5 primary ballot across Michigan. We encourage you to learn more about this proposal and to vote YES in August.

This proposal would create 15,000 jobs in Michigan by eliminating the personal property tax on small businesses. Businesses must pay this tax every year on every piece of equipment they own, which is unique to Michigan and puts our state at an economic disadvantage when competing for new businesses and jobs. This proposal would immediately eliminate the personal property tax on small businesses and phase it out over nine years for larger businesses.

Many communities rely on revenue from the personal property tax to fund local services like police, fire, ambulances, jails, roads, schools, parks and libraries even though it is an unreliable revenue source. This referendum guarantees that 100 percent of the money a community loses from the elimination of the personal property tax will be replaced using the more stable State Use Tax.

This proposal is not a tax increase – for anyone. It is paid for by eliminating special corporate tax breaks that the legislature has voted to end, and by establishing a statewide Essential Services Assessment paid only by manufacturers receiving a personal property tax reduction.

We strongly encourage you to sign up for Michigan Citizens for Strong and Safe Communities’ email alerts at to receive updates from this important campaign to strengthen Michigan communities and help local small businesses create jobs.

For the 2014 tax year, legislation was passed that exempts certain “Eligible Personal Property” from taxation. Businesses that own personal property of less than a true cash value of $80,000 ($40,000 assessed value) may be entitled to an exemption for the 2014 tax year. To qualify for the Eligible Personal Property exemption, the qualifying business MUST FILE Form 5076 with the local assessor by February 10, 2014. If the business fails to file the Form 5076, the local assessor is obligated to place an assessment, even if the assessor’s estimate is less than the $80,000 true cash value threshold.

Personal Property Statements were mailed to taxpayers shortly after January 1, 2014. If you have questions regarding this issue, please contact your local assessor.

To Our Members …

For an easy read of a bipartisan look at the recent debt ceiling compromise, please take a look at this short article from our partner, BIPAC. Come back to our website and visit us. We will be providing you insight from BIPAC on issues that are important, and that affect us all.


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With the debt ceiling deal done, it is time to get serious
By Greg S. Casey

It has been just over a week since the debt ceiling compromise was passed.  It is a lot more complicated than it appears and we will get to the analysis of those intricacies later.  For now, whether or not you liked the deal, the fact remains the outcome only postponed the tough decisions on fiscal and tax reform that must still be made.

I spent the days since the “debt deal” in real America, talking with dozens of people from all political persuasions, from all over the country, employees and employers, rural and urban.  I wanted to know what they thought before I said anything more.  I found their disdain for the partisanship and their frustration with Washington is greater than I imagined.  It is greater than anything I’ve seen before.  Repeatedly I heard, “I’ve been a lifelong (fill in the blank) but I’m not going to be anymore.” Yesterday, Gallup said public disapproval of Congress is the lowest it has been since they started asking the question.

Simply put, Americans have lost faith in the Federal government’s ability to honestly address, let alone fix, our economic woes. They yearn for statesmanlike leadership and a serious conversation where there isn’t any reference to either political party. To them, the three-letter word standing in the way of a solution is neither GDP, nor TAX but EGO.

Few Americans were subsequently surprised by Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S credit rating.  For months, credit rating organizations signaled a downgrade was possible if policy makers didn’t do something substantive to resolve our nation’s systemic addition to deficit spending.  Rather than dicker with the details or castigate the messenger, most Americans wondered
what had taken so long.  Although the debt deal finally enacted might have been the best that could be accomplished under the circumstances, it didn’t meet the substantive change standard.  And it wasn’t just the way it happened that so troubled the S&P.  We shouldn’t forget a downgrade seemed possible BEFORE the debt ceiling became the vehicle fiscal hawks used to force some kind of deficit reduction.  In all likelihood, a “clean” debt ceiling bill without deficit reduction would have resulted in the same downgrade.  Unfortunately, true to form, some in Washington have now chosen to label this a “tea party downgrade.”  That is precisely the kind of political finger-pointing and denial of realty that so infuriates Americans.

Between now and the end of November, the President, Congress and those with influence in the process, must find a way to deal with reality.  In order for this nation to get its house in order and  facilitate economic growth, we need fiscal reform that addresses entitlements and tax reform that addresses rates and exemptions.  Without fundamental spending reform, entitlement spending will consume ALL federal revenues within the next three decades.  Without tax reform, the U.S. will be at a competitive disadvantage that will pinch every corner of our economy.  For both sides, the resulting economic growth is worth the trade.

I am not picking sides.  I am not embracing any scheme over another. I am, however, reflecting the frustration of a very angry public, willing to throw the rascals out if a truly meaningful resolution is not reached. I sense Americans have simply lost their patience with partisan bickering and inside the beltway deal making.