New taxes in Michigan


Written on Monday, October 01, 2007 by Jessica

The state legislature has passed an increase in income tax, from 3.9% to 4.35%. Necessary, I suppose, given the state's $1 billion budget deficit. They've also been kicking around the idea of taxing services, but I never believed they'd actually do it. I was wrong. Effective December 1, there will be a 6% tax on services.

I'm so ticked off. I'm concerned that I'm going to have to start charging a service tax for anything I do in connection with my web design business. I don't even know how to properly collect and submit such taxes. This is a PITA.

Here is a partial list of some of the more interesting services being taxed (click here for a full list):

  • Astrology services
  • Baby shoe bronzing services [Yup, they specifically mentioned baby shoe bronzing.]
  • Balloon-o-gram services [I'm not making this one up, either. Michigan legislators prefer the term "balloon-o-gram services" over "balloon-delivery services."]
  • Business service center services [Sounds redundant, no?]
  • Coin-operated blood pressure testing machine services [They better start making a 26.5-cent coin so that I don't have to carry around extra change just to check my blood pressure.]
  • Coin-operated personal service machine services [Personal service machine? When I was in college, I heard that the local porn store had little coin-operated booths where you could watch special "programming" while servicing yourself. I wonder if that qualifies.]
  • Comfort station operation services [Huh? What's a comfort station? Maybe that's what they called the coin-operated booths I mentioned above.]
  • Fortune-telling services
  • Numerology services
  • Palm reading services
  • Phrenology services [So if you're planning to have someone read the bumps on your head, make sure it's before December 1, 2007.]
  • Psychic services
  • Singing telegram services
  • Skiing services [Not interesting in and of itself, but I'll come back to this one later.]
  • Social escort services
  • Social introduction services
And finally (this is perhaps my favorite one):
  • Service contract services in which the seller, in exchange for the buyer's single payment, agrees to provide repair, maintenance, or replacement of 1 or more items of tangible personal property during a specific period of time, which services the buyer is not required to buy in connection with the purchase of tangible personal property.
I had to read that one a half-dozen times to figure out what it's talking about: extended warranties! Not sure why it doesn't just say "extended warranty services," but whatever.

Please notice one particular item that is not on the list. Although the politicians were certain to include skiing among taxable services, they excluded golf. Damn straight, because every politician dearly loves a good round of golf.

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  1. Joanne |

    I live in the mother of taxed states. It sucks but you just get used to it. We pay 8.25% sales tax.

  2. Jessica |

    Do services get taxed, too? I'm not aware of any states that tax a lot of services, but it's not something I've ever looked into. Michigan has always taxed prepared food and hotel rooms, so those could be considered service taxes.

    What ticks me off the most is the golf exclusion. The politicians supposedly focused on luxury services like landscaping and recreation, but excluded golf.

  3. Unknown |

    That is so weird. I've never heard of services being taxed. Makes you wanna move to WI doesn't it. :D

    We have 5% sales tax. :) And no tax on food.

  4. Anonymous |

    I live in CA and they taxed everything!! I hate that...


  5. Anonymous |

    I mean that they tax everything..I said "taxed" past tense...sorry, long day at work..


  6. Jessica |

    Lisa, I've also heard that it's sunnier in Wisconsin (no lake effect), so yeah, I sometimes want to move there. Do you have earwigs?

    As for California -- high taxes and giant grasshoppers. No thx.


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