Measure heads to Senate for consideration
The Michigan House today gave strong bipartisan approval to prohibit local governments from imposing taxes on manufacture, distribution and sales of food and beverages.
The bill, introduced by state Rep. Rob VerHeulen, is a preemptive move to prevent local units of government from taxing food sales. VerHeulen, of Walker, said such a tax will place an undue burden on families and farmers.
“The Michigan Constitution prohibits the state from taxing food, and that ban should be extended to local governments,” VerHeulen said. “The taxes could have a negative impact on families are living paycheck to paycheck.”
VerHeulen said municipalities in Illinois and Pennsylvania recently imposed taxes on food and have already felt the negative impact it had on the local economy. Grocery stores are cutting hours and laying off workers because people are shopping for food in neighboring communities where the tax is not present.
“I am happy my colleagues in the House saw the wisdom in heading off any city or county that was looking to pad their budgets on the backs of hard-working families,” VerHeulen said. “Low-income households dedicate nearly one-third of their income to buy food. Any increase in that by taxation could be very damaging.”
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The Michigan Food Access and Affordability Act is House Bill 4999.