Michigan Airport Car Rental Tax Gets Little Support

Michigan state legislators’ work on a permanent funding stream for the Pure Michigan promotional campaign includes a sales tax from tourism-related businesses, but a separate plan to institute a tax on car rentals from airports currently does not have much support, according to the Petoskey News-Review.

The campaign’s television and radio spots are facing cuts in funding, so Northern Michigan representatives are working on a plan to establish a long-term solution to tourism promotion funding. Bills in the state senate and house would establish a Michigan Promotion Fund and finance it through taxing tourism related businesses.

Reps. Gary McDowell and Dan Scripps, D-Leland, said the car rental tax is necessary to get the Michigan Promotion Fund going. “We’ll be able to phase out the car rental tax over time, automatically,” Scripps said.

But although Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City, gave initial support to the whole plan, he said there was no move to pen identical rental car tax legislation in the Senate. Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer, R-Kewadin, said he would not support the car rental tax portion of the bill.

“I’m not going to be supporting that tax. I think there are other ways to skin this cat and I’m interested in other revenues without raising taxes on businesses or people,” he said.

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