Business Costs

Saginaw Future’s experience with and knowledge of business taxes and incentives allow us to help companies identify and understand the opportunities available through the State of Michigan, counties and individual municipalities in our county. Click here to learn more about the State of Michigan’s new tax cuts and more competitive tax system.

Michigan Corporate Income Tax (CIT) – was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder on May 25, 2011. The CIT imposes a 6% corporate income tax on C corporations and taxpayers taxed as corporations federally. The CIT has one credit, the small business alternative credit, which offers an alternate tax rate of 1.8% of adjusted business income. There are no other credits, except those under the MBT election (addressed below). Insurance companies and financial institutions pay alternative taxes. The CIT replaces the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) for most taxpayers, effective January 1, 2012. Taxpayers with less than $350,000 in allocated or apportioned gross receipts and/or less than or equal to $100 in annual liability are not required to file or pay the CIT. The gross receipts threshold does not apply to financial institutions or insurance companies.

Additionally, on May 25, 2011, the Governor signed into law the MBT election which enables certain MBT taxpayers with certificated or awarded credits to continue using those credits once the CIT is in place. Such taxpayers may elect to continue filing and paying under the MBT until the expiration of the previously-awarded certificated credits.
Source: Michigan Department of Treasury

Inventory Tax – in the state of Michigan, there is no inventory tax, no matter where you locate. All inventory is exempt from state and local taxes.

Property Tax – Michigan’s property tax system includes competitive, cost-effective exemptions and abatement programs. Firms receive automatic 24-mill reduction on industrial personal property and automatic 12-mill reduction on commercial personal property. In addition, firms may still apply for tax abatements and property rehabilitation incentives.

Full property tax exemptions apply to inventory, special tooling and pollution control equipment.

Homesteads are defined as primary residences that are officially occupied by May 1 of the recorded year. All other residences, including secondary residences, are considered non-homestead.

Property taxes are levied as a millage rate. (A mill equals one dollar of assessed property, property is assessed at 50% of market value.) These taxes are levied on two types of property in the State of Michigan, “real property” (land and buildings) and “personal property” (machines, equipment, fixtures and signs used by businesses). Each year, the City Assessor’s office estimates the value of all property in the city — both real and personal — as of December 31, otherwise known as “tax day.” The valuation and condition of the owner’s property on this date is used to determine its value. A “Notice of Assessment, Taxable Valuation and Property Classification” is then sent to all property owners about March 1. The notice indicates three values for each property:

  • Assessed Value is equal to approximately half of the estimated market value of the property.
  • State Equalized Value (SEV) is the Assessed Value multiplied by an “equalization factor,” a number that is determined by the County Equalization Department which is usually 1. Therefore, Assessed Value and State Equalized Value are usually the same.
  • Taxable Value is the value used to compute the taxes on the property.

Property taxes are calculated using the following formula: Taxable Value ÷ $1,000 x millage rate = Tax Levy (amount of taxes to be paid).

Also of note, annual property assessment increases are limited by the State Constitution to the lesser of 5% or the rate of inflation.

As a benefit to businesses, property tax exemptions are available for:

  1. Special tools, dies, jigs and patterns in manufacturing
  2. Electricity and natural gas used in production
  3. Air and water pollution control abatement equipment.

See the most current millage rates from the Saginaw County Equalization Department.

School Tax – in Michigan is figured into Property Tax and is part of the millage rates indicated above.

Local Sales Tax – 0% as Michigan allows no local sales tax.

Sales Tax – 6% is the state sales tax on sales of tangible goods. No local sales taxes are allowed. Purchases of manufacturing equipment, pollution control equipment, and energy used in the industrial process are fully exempt from sales taxes.

Real Estate Sales Tax – If the value of the real estate transferred is $100.00 or more, a one-time payment of the state and county transfer tax is required.

  • Rate of County tax is $.55 for each $500.00 or fraction thereof.
  • Rate of State tax is $3.75 for each $500.00 or fraction thereof.

License – $0 for Saginaw County, $50 to $150 for City of Saginaw

Personal Income Tax – Michigan’s personal income tax rate is one of the lowest in the nation – a flat 4.35% tax rate that is scheduled to decline to 4.25% in 2013.

Unemployment Insurance – to protect workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, Michigan businesses pay unemployment insurance on the first $9,000 of wages paid to each worker in a calendar year. Established employers may pay as little as 0.06%.

Workers’ Compensation – Michigan has a competitive workers’ compensation (WC) insurance system. Michigan’s “open competition” system allows market forces to set the WC insurance rates, thus enabling companies to shop among nearly 300 insurance carriers for the best, lowest-cost options. Self-insurance, group self-insurance, deductible plans and other options are available, as well.

The information provided above is only a summary of the most current information available. Please consult a tax specialist when considering all business ventures.