You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Whitmer vetoes bills giving businesses tax breaks for purchases of PPE

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 6/25/2021 Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced criticism from business groups Friday after vetoing legislation that would have provided tax relief for purchases of personal protective equipment during the pandemic.

Whitmer vetoed House Bills 4224 and 4225, which both passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, including unanimous votes in the state Senate.

The bills offered businesses exemptions and refunds for sales tax or use tax paid on personal protective equipment and related supplies through the end of this year and retroactive to March 10, 2020.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Whitmer said in her veto letter that she supports such tax relief, but vetoed the legislation because it was crafted as a tax credit, rather than a grant. That made the program ineligible for use of federal relief dollars paid under the American Rescue Plan, she said.

Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber, said his group "listened to Michigan businesses and worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to develop a set of bills that would repeal a burdensome worker safety tax on personal protective equipment."

a woman sitting on a table: Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks during press conference at Troy Babes in Toyland in Troy on Monday, June 14, 2021. Gov. Whitmer unveiled a $1.4 billion plan to expand affordable child care. © Rodney Coleman-Robinson, Detroit Free Press Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks during press conference at Troy Babes in Toyland in Troy on Monday, June 14, 2021. Gov. Whitmer unveiled a $1.4 billion plan to expand affordable child care.

The bills "responded to the needs of businesses that were doing everything that Gov. Whitmer asked of them to keep employees and patrons safe," Williams said. "In a political era when there is very little cooperation across party lines, there was overwhelming bipartisan support for this legislation," which "deserves to be celebrated rather than vetoed," he said.

More: Whitmer appears on CNN: What she said about Michigan GOP

More: Whitmer reopens state: 'Our pure Michigan summer is back'

Rich Studley, CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said on Twitter that his group was "very disappointed, but not surprised" by the veto.

"The governor talks about 'bipartisanship' but doesn’t mean it," Studley said.

In her veto letter, Whitmer encouraged lawmakers "to send me bills that would allow us to send these federal relief dollars to hard-working business owners who’ve kept their employees and customers safe over the past 15 months."

The governor said she knows lawmakers share "a commitment to sound fiscal management, embodied in a good faith agreement to run any legislation with a fiscal impact through the budget process." She said the bills "run counter to the spirit of that agreement, so I am vetoing them."

A Senate Fiscal Agency analysis said the bills would reduce state tax revenues by "an unknown and potentially significant amount."

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our elections newsletter

Become a subscriber.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Whitmer vetoes bills giving businesses tax breaks for purchases of PPE

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Detroit Free Press

Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon