Chamber Statement on Gov. Whitmer’s Veto of PPE Worker-Safety Sales Tax Relief

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DETROIT (June 25, 2021) – Detroit Regional Chamber vice president of Government Relations Brad Williams issued the following statement on Gov. Whitmer’s vetoes of House Bill 4224 and 4225, which would have provided businesses critical tax relief on purchases of personal protective equipment during the pandemic.

“The Chamber 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.

The narrowly tailored House Bills 4224 and 4225 responded to the needs of businesses that were doing everything that Gov. Whitmer asked of them to keep employees and patrons safe. In a political era when there is very little cooperation across party lines, there was overwhelming bipartisan support for this legislation, reflected by unanimous passage in the Michigan Senate. Such bipartisanship deserves to be celebrated rather than vetoed.

Despite this setback, the Chamber will continue to work with policymakers on both sides interested in addressing the needs that businesses and their employees face after 16 months of challenge in the face of COVID-19.”

House Bill 4224 and 4225 would allow a business to claim personal protective equipment (PPE) tax exemptions in response to the COVID-19. The bills would only exempt PPE and other tangible personal property from the taxes if they were specifically used in relation to COVID-19. If the governor signs them into law, businesses with written COVID-19 safety plans required by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration would not have to pay the state’s 6% sales and use tax on purchases of PPE and disinfecting supplies.

“Throughout this pandemic, small businesses around our state have paid taxes on the equipment needed to remain operational at great cost to their bottom line,” said Matt Patton, director of government relations for the Chamber. “Despite a bitterly disagreeable political climate, these bills brought Democrats and Republicans together in order to make life-saving PPE more affordable by stopping the government from profiting off of the necessity of it.”

Previously, Matt Patton, director of government relations for the Chamber, testified before the Michigan Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, May 12, to advocate for House Bill 4224 and 4225, which would allow a business to claim personal protective equipment (PPE) tax exemptions in response to the COVID-19.

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