Senate panel approves Runestad bill to simplify personal property tax process

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would ease the burden for businesses and taxpayers tracking personal property for the 2021 tax year.

Senate Bill 1203, sponsored by Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Jim Runestad, would simplify an otherwise overly complicated process for businesses with employees working remotely.

“The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it many trials for those who have contracted COVID-19 or lost loved ones to the disease — as well as for those whose livelihoods have suffered,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “Unfortunately, while many Michiganders have been able to relocate their offices to their homes to continue working, current law places an undue tax burden on businesses with workers who bring equipment home to do their jobs. SB 1203 would simplify this process and remove this burden.”

For many who are working remotely this year due to the pandemic, certain personal property, such as computers, printers and office chairs, has been relocated from the business office to the person’s home.

Current law would require businesses to keep track of where their personal property is located and then assess the property for taxation within each of the many separate jurisdictions. In many cases, this would prove to be challenging and very time consuming.

SB 1203 states that for the 2021 tax year only, personal property (including exempt personal property) that is located at an alternate location on Tax Day (Dec. 31, 2020) due to the COVID-19 pandemic is to be considered to be at its ordinary location for purposes of assessment.

SB 1203 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.