State Rep. Ken Borton, R-Gaylord, on Thursday opposed legislation to tax more food and drink sales in Michigan.
Under Michigan law, food and nonalcoholic drinks are exempt from sales and use taxes, except for prepared products intended for immediate consumption. In a party-line vote, the House on Thursday passed House Bills 4377 and 4378, which would create a complicated, expanded definition of “prepared food” to tax more prepackaged foods and beverages.
“Lansing Democrats have found a sneaky and convoluted way to force Michigan families to hand over more of their hard-earned money to the government by taxing more foods and beverages,” Borton said, adding that the complex, multi-factor metric for determining what items are taxed would impose burdens on small businesses like coffee shops and movie theaters. “The burden of navigating this confusing new tax policy will fall on local small business owners, who will have to navigate more red tape while they try to figure out which food and drink items are supposed to be taxed. All of this will undoubtedly leave a sour taste in the mouths of Northern Michiganders.”
The new requirements proposed under the bills would set many arbitrary distinctions between taxable and untaxable goods: how utensils or napkins are made available to customers; whether a bottled soft drink is sweetened or contains milk or juice; how much of a business’s total food sales are prepared food; and other criteria.
HBs 4377 and 4378 now advance to the Senate for consideration.
“The governor’s appointed bureaucrats didn’t even let her signature dry before helping utility companies pass increased renewable energy costs onto customers,” said Borton, R-Gaylord. “It’s disturbing to see how quickly this terrible new policy will drain the pockets of everyday people. Families up north and across Michigan are already dealing with high costs from inflation this holiday season. Lansing Democrats are piling the bills even higher as they work to please radical environmentalists and the fat cat utility companies.”
“Too many deer can become dangerous for Michigan,” said Borton, R-Gaylord. “Hunters are Michigan’s first line of defense for conserving our environment. This year, we’re asking them to let a couple big bucks walk and focus on the does.”