Temporary COVID-19 tax system is needed

Michigan needs a temporary COVID- 19-tiered tax system. It’s time to think outside of the box and optimize for a solution that can work for all stakeholders. The tiered tax system is a fair bipartisan solution for the state legislature.

This three-tiered tax system (Tier 1 – $75, Tier 2 – $50, Tier 3 – $20) will allow all Michigan businesses to open up under safety protocols, while requiring them to charge customers based on their tiered industry bracket. Every nonessential business will fall into a certain tier and when customers decide to go out and purchase from that business, they have to pay the tiered tax in addition to their regular bill via a government QR code payment system.

All of the taxes collected would go directly to unemployment benefits and to support other small businesses. Let’s review Michigan’s beloved breweries. First the extra tax on such non-essential activities would both persuade the marginal consumer to stay home and would help them save funds during these times of distress. On the other side of coin, if customers have to spend a tier 1 tax (extra $75) at a local brewery they will be apt to spend more money increasing revenues on a per customer basis helping to offset the decline in the overall customer base.

There’s no secret that low income individuals have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic physically and economically. This added tax will go directly to them while keeping them safe and bringing more funds to their rescue. — Shamari C. Benton & Edward B. Viverette, Oakland County