LANSING, MI--(Marketwire - February 16, 2009) - Michigan's hard-hit retail sector would suffer the double whammy of higher taxes and fees under the governor's budget plan, according to Michigan Retailers Association. Details released by the Office of the State Budget show the state intends to raise upwards of $97 million more from retailers, who have been mired in a years-long slump and just experienced a poor holiday season.

"Does it make sense to raise taxes on an industry that is suffering through its worst slump in decades? Is that the way to create jobs and new businesses in this state? We know it's the wrong plan," said James P. Hallan, president and CEO of Michigan Retailers Association.

"The proposed budget plan amounts to little more than a strategy of 'tax 'em while they're down," added Hallan. "Our members strongly oppose these changes."

Specifically, the budget plans calls for:

--  Raising $10 million by changing a Michigan Supreme Court decision
    involving taxation of commercial property;
--  Raising $45 million by doubling the tax rate on sales of tobacco
    products other than cigarettes;
--  Raising $12 million by reducing the tax deduction for bad debts;
--  Raising $6.3 million by reducing the administrative fee retailers
    receive for collecting sales taxes and tobacco taxes for the state;
--  Raising $24.1 million by doubling retail liquor license fees and
    creating new permits for extended hours of liquor sales.

The 5,000-member Michigan Retailers Association is the unified voice of retailing in Michigan and the nation's largest state trade association of general merchandise retailers.

Contact Information: Contact: Tom Scott 517.372.5656