A new 6-percent sales tax on services including tanning took effect Dec. 1 in Michigan. This service tax was passed in late September as part of a budget-balancing deal, but opponents continue to pressure state lawmakers to repeal the tax.
On Nov. 23, the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce joined forces with local Republicans for an Ax the Tax Party, part of a statewide petition drive seeking to collect more than 300,000 signatures.
State Treasurer Robert Kleine said the state's goal was to tax discretionary services under broad headings like personal services. Many of these personal-service businesses are small, and owners worry that they will face a large financial loss—particularly since the tax is supposed to go into effect in the middle of the holiday shopping season.
“I will have to raise my tanning packages,” says Tina Gooch of Southfield, Mich.-based Eclipse Tanning. “It's hard to add taxes on tanning. My first thought was taking more money from the small businesses. I'm upset, but I can't do anything about it.”
For more information or to find ways that you can oppose the service tax, visit www.fightservicetax.com, sponsored by the Small Business Association of Michigan.