Advocacy Update

Written by Forrest Wall, CAE, Staff Vice President and Industry Relations

Senate Committee Approves Revised Judicature Act Change

The Michigan Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee approved a bill which would amend the Revised Judicature Act in a section of the law relating to the unlawful interference with a tenant’s possessory interest. Senate Bill 112 would change a provision in the law that protects a property owner from a violation of a tenant’s possessory interest in cases where the owner believes in good faith that the tenant has abandoned the premises. The bill would add language that, in addition to the owner, a determination of abandonment could be made by a court officer, bailiff, or deputy sheriff. The original version of this legislation, sponsored by Senator Peter J. Lucido (R-8th District), actually replaced the ability of the owner to determine abandonment with a requirement that it be a court officer, bailiff, or deputy sheriff. After discussing the issue with Sen. Lucido, the original ownership determination of abandonment was added back. This is an important provision in the law, as a property owner found in violation under this section is subject to damages. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Budget Plan Would Change Business Tax
Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recently released budget plan includes a key change for business owners in Michigan. In addition to the much publicized gas tax increase, the plan calls for an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, a pension tax repeal, and an expansion of the 6% Corporate Income Tax (CIT). Currently, the CIT only applies to C- corps. Tax revenue from other business entities (S-corps, LLC’s, partnerships) is captured when owners pay the 4.25% personal income tax rate. Under Gov. Whitmer’s plan the CIT would be expanded to include these pass-through entities, with a credit for what the owners pay in personal taxes. Additionally, the first $50,000 in income from pass-through entities would be exempted. The debate over this plan is still in the early stages as the Republican legislative leaders will offer their ideas and begin the process of moving budget bills.

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