John Engler on Tax Reform

Former Republican MI Governor

Exempt new high-tech sectors from state business tax

Our goal is to see Michigan in the forefront of basic research for life-saving and life-improving technologies and treatments. Last year, we took an important step into the Next Michigan with a $1 billion commitment to research. Your work has attracted attention across the nation. We want to strengthen further our foothold in these emerging fields - life sciences, micro-systems and information technology. With the proper tax and regulatory climate and the right education and legal strategies, investment and job creation potential in these sectors is enormous.

So I propose a Next Michigan action plan to encourage these new companies to make our state their home. Letís put out the welcome mat and exempt them from Michiganís state business tax.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Michigan legislature , Jan 31, 2001

Has cut and will continue to cut personal & business tax

In Michigan, reductions in personal income taxes and business taxes will take place as scheduled. And unemployment taxes are being cut again. Make no mistake, we begin this decade as we ended the 1990s, by cutting taxes. When I took office, Michiganís personal income tax rate was 4.6 percent, while the Single Business Tax was 2.35 percent. By the time we gather next January, multi-year tax cuts approved in 1998 and 1999 will have dropped Michiganís flat rate income tax to 4.1 percent and our business tax to 1.9 percent, saving families and job providers an additional $350 million. By 2004, the personal income tax rate will be down to 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since 1971. In addition, the SBT continues its phased reduction at the rate of 0.1 percent per year.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Michigan legislature , Jan 31, 2001

Strengthen Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Just as taxpayers have a right to keep more of their money, they have a right to be treated fairly. Tonight, I urge you to strengthen our Taxpayer Bill of Rights by assuring homestead exemptions are received by those entitled to them, by requiring Boards of Review to provide residential property taxpayers with written explanations of decisions, and by easing electronic filing requirements.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Michigan legislature , Jan 31, 2001

Let states independently determine estate taxes.

Engler adopted a letter to Congressional leaders from 37 Governors:

We are writing to request equal treatment between states and the federal government on estate tax changes. Regardless of oneís view about phasing out the federal estate tax, the Governors are absolutely united in opposing any action that would discriminate against states in the phase-out of the state and federal estate taxes. This issue needs to be addressed before the Senate goes to conference with the House.

Governors believe that the ability of states to independently determine their own tax revenue policy is a basic tenet of federalism. Moreover, no federal tax bill should be enacted without close consultation with the states.

At the very least, there must be equity in the treatment of the state death tax credit in the tax bill the Congress considers with the proposed phase-out of the federal estate tax. Governors oppose provisions that impose disproportionate impacts on state revenue systems. The changes proposed by the Senate would have abrupt, significant adverse impacts on state revenues at a particularly onerous time for many states. The potential impact on states would begin next year and have a potential impact of between $50 and $100 billion over the next ten years.

We urge the leaders to respect those rights and to restore fairness.

Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 01-NGA19 on May 23, 2001

Other governors on Tax Reform: John Engler on other issues:
MI Gubernatorial:
Rick Snyder
MI Senatorial:
Carl Levin
Debbie Stabenow

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011