Editor’s note: To help voters make sense of ubiquitous political arguments in this fall’s elections in Michigan, Bridge’s 10-part special report tells it like it is on Michigan taxing and spending issues. Today we present parts three and four. Read each five-minute primer published so far:
Part 1: Are Michigan taxes too high, too low, or just right?
Part 2: Who wants what in the long war over Michigan taxes?
Voters who tune into campaign rhetoric this fall will likely hear all kinds of assertions about Michigan taxes… How some groups of people pay too much, or how other groups pay too little, etc…
Here are some basic facts about who pays what kinds of taxes in Michigan.
The state of Michigan levies and collects dozens of different taxes and fees. Local governments also collect local taxes, fees, etc. This discussion is limited to state tax collections – those taxes managed by the folks near the top of the ballot (governor and state legislators) who voters will choose at the polls in the November.
Everybody in Michigan pays taxes in one form or another, no matter how rich or poor you are. You pay sales taxes when you buy most consumer products (food being a major exception). You pay several taxes every time you buy gasoline. If you own a home you pay property taxes. If you rent your home the cost of property taxes is most likely built into your rent. Likewise, many businesses often seek to build the cost of their tax obligations into the final price of the goods and services they sell.
Here’s the breakdown of each individual state tax: