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VOTERS ENCOURAGED TO APPROVE SALES TAX INCREASE

 LANSING, Mich., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) today announced support for a property tax reform-school finance package approved by the Legislature this week and pledged to push for voter approval of the companion sales tax.
 The organization, which represents 6,200 small business owners in Michigan, congratulated Gov. John Engler for forcing the decision on property tax reform and the Legislature for taking action after more than 20 years of gridlock.
 SBAM President Gary M. Woodbury expressed hope that voters June 2 will approved a 2-cent increase in the sales tax.
 "This package reduces Michigan's property tax burden to the average of the 50 states thereby making small businesses more competitive and will help create more jobs," said Woodbury. He noted that the proposed sales tax increase would also put Michigan near the average for neighboring states.
 "Since the package provides equal relief for business and residential property, SBAM will support it." Woodbury added SBAM would participate in a broad-based coalition which will campaign for voter approval of the sales tax.
 The plan would:
 -- Roll back the 1993 assessments to 3 percent.
 -- Index future assessments to 5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
 -- Delay future assessment increases by 18 months.
 -- Limit school millages to 18 mils with an additional 9 mils if voted on by district residents.
 -- Guarantee each school district at least $4,800 per pupil.
 -- Guarantee each school district a minimum 3 percent budget increase, with funds coming directly from the additional sales tax.
 "The funding mechanism outlined in this plan will bridge the gap between rich and poor school districts," Woodbury said.
 "But we have to remember that the property tax cuts are directly related to voter approval of the sales tax and the improvements promised mean nothing without a 'yes' vote June 2," Woodbury said. "That's why we'll do our share to educate members and the general public between now and then."
 -0- 4/5/93
 /CONTACT: Dennis L. Larson of Small Business Association of Michigan, 517-482-8788 or 800-362-5461/


CO: Small Business Association of Michigan ST: Michigan IN: SU:

ML -- DE009 -- 2900 04/05/93 09:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 5, 1993
Words:360
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