Chamber to Duggan: Do It Yourself

- Twenty two Michigan cities have a local income tax, and when their residents work in another city, Mayor Mike Duggan and others want the companies in those cities to collect the withholding tax. A coalition of 11 groups is telling the mayor and others to basically do it yourself.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce hosted a Monday news conference blasting the pending legislation (HB 4829 and SB 1127) as bad for business.

"It's unfair and unwarranted," complains Tricia Kinley, the tax lobbyist for the chamber. "We believe this is a disincentive to hiring and it's an administrative burden that opens up employers to liability, penalties, multiple city audits and this is just a bad idea."

Cities like Detroit complain they do not have the resources to police residents who work in the suburbs, but Ms. Kinley, in effect argues, find the money and leave business out of the collection process.

"The City of Detroit should increase its own enforcement on the true culprits who are delinquent taxpayers and residents of the city.  They have every opportunity to beef-up the enforcement on the people who really aren't paying."

Charlie Owens from the National Federation of Independent Business contends his members should not be "chasing" it's employees in what would become a "nightmare for record keeping and payroll."

The coalition asserts that requiring employers with no connections to these 22 cities to be a tax collector is "legally suspect."

The chamber and others fear that some companies will stop hiring workers who live in those income tax cities.

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